The pandemic has tested the workforce resilience, agility, and capabilities to reshape our approach to the future of work. Organizations, now split across remote locations, need to understand the composition of their workforce, their skillset, and availability more so than ever before. Gloat is a talent marketplace platform for companies to manage, deploy, and grow their internal talent pools. By mapping a workforce’s talents, skills, and availability, managers now have access to a broader talent pool, diversifying teams, and allowing projects, initiatives, launches, open roles, mentorship programs, etc. to get staffed faster while keeping employees engaged. As the pandemic led to an acceleration in workforce management, Gloat was able to 5x its ARR and triple its headcount. Companies like Unilever, Schneider Electric, Novartis, and HDBC are users of the platform.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Ben Reuveni to learn more about the need for talent marketplaces, the company’s strategic plans, the latest round of funding, which brings the total funding to $91.6M, and much, much more.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
The $57M Series C funding round was led by Accel, with participation from existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, Intel Capital, Magma Venture Partners, and PICO Partners.
Tell us about the product or service that Gloat offers.
Gloat is the pioneering vendor behind the Talent Marketplace, an AI-powered platform helping companies become more agile and individuals build more meaningful careers. We make this possible with a two-sided platform connecting employees with various work and development opportunities inside of their company – in the form of projects, roles, mentorships, learning, volunteering opportunities, and more – that are aligned with their skills, interests, and career aspirations. Our platform also empowers employees to plan and take real action towards career paths from any point A to any point B inside their company and gives leadership deep visibility into the skills of the workforce to help plan for the talent needs of the future. We’re proud to call some of the world’s leading enterprises including Unilever, HSBC, Seagate, Schneider Electric, Novartis, MetLife, ADP and many others our customers as we help them adapt to the Talent Marketplace and the new agile way of working it enables.
What inspired the start of Gloat?
I was in Israel’s intelligence unit, surrounded by computer gurus, algorithmic experts, and mathematicians. One day, my boss asked me to spend 10 percent of my time sharpening the algorithm used by the unit to find talent.
It changed my life. This idea of helping people navigate their career and find their true place was what initially planted the seed. And spending 10 percent of my time doing something I loved was exciting and meant I was much happier and more creative in my day-to-day work.
After that, I joined a startup in the storage space, which was acquired by IBM. For the first time in my life, I saw what it was like to be a small employee in a large company – there was no transparency, no visibility, and no agility. It took me ages to initiate anything new. After five years, I decided to see what the next step in my career would be. I had two options – explore outside of IBM, or explore internally.
When I told the HR department I wanted to find something new inside IBM. They were nervous – they thought I wasn’t happy or satisfied – the whole process was really unstructured. It was about this time I met my cofounder, Amichai (Schreiber), at IBM. And that made the decision for me. We left IBM and started Gloat with the idea that, by using data and algorithms, we could help people navigate their careers and help companies move faster by tapping into their internal talent more effectively. So, we created the first internal Talent Marketplace, where we could show employees that they could find their next career step within their company, and help them navigate their career internally.
Imagine a product where you onboard employees at one end and hiring managers at the other. You let them find each other by using AI and algorithms. We’re controlling every aspect of an employee’s career – whether it’s a part-time project, full-time job, or shadow learning opportunity – we’re trying to show them how they can develop within that company. It was a win-win situation. The company focuses on the employee, and the employee focuses on their career. Everyone’s happy.
That dream ended up being shared by many and very needed in the market!
How is Gloat different?
Gloat is unique for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we built the platform as a consumer-grade technology with the end-user in mind, which is not something most enterprise companies do, particularly in the HR space. We prioritized an intuitive and frictionless user experience and delightful design so that employees would love using the platform. Because we have robust integration capabilities with a company’s existing tech stack and seamless uploading of resumes and LinkedIn profile data, users can onboard in less than 2 minutes and get immediate value from the Talent Marketplace by gaining visibility and access to new opportunities tailor-recommended for them. As a result, we have customers seeing 80%+ adoption and profile completion, something almost unheard of in the HR tech space.
We’re also really focused on understanding the development goals and career aspirations of individuals and harnessing that information to help each individual find opportunities that align with their goals. The Gloat platform is made possible by a powerful AI-powered self-evolving ontology at its core, which maps the unique relationships between skills, work, and job titles that exist within an organization. That deep understanding of skills, aspirations, and the work to be done is what allows the platform to understand the nuance of a company and deliver scale.
Finally, we are more than a technology. We help our customers transform the way they work – how they assemble teams to launch products, how they manage resources and people to match market demands in real-time, how they empower individuals to take control of their career journeys. To do that, you need a deep understanding of enterprises and the change management that needs to happen to move into new agile ways of work. This is why we have built an incredible Customer Success and Change Enablement team of experts helping companies not just adopt a technology, but to transform the way they manage people and the business itself.
What market does Gloat target and how big is it?
Gloat is focused on large global enterprises but we’re also working with a number of medium-sized enterprises today. It’s a massive opportunity and we already see the adoption of our platform across verticals, from consumer goods giants, to big pharma, to global banks, to consumer technology, professional services companies, and more.
What’s your business model?
We sell enterprise software licenses and price per employee per year.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business??
When the pandemic hit, the majority of large enterprises faced massive shifts in their business operations, with some areas of the business experiencing low demand, or grinding to a halt completely, while other areas of the business were booming. Our customers were able to use their talent marketplaces to dynamically reallocate thousands of employees to areas of the business in need and leverage talent from across their businesses to launch new products and services to meet the changing needs of the market. With remote working, we also saw an increased need from the market to continue to provide employees with career, development, networking, and mentorship opportunities while outside of the office.
What was the funding process like?
We were fortunate to have the interest of many investors off the back of our 5x ARR growth, 4x customer growth, and 2x headcount growth. It was a competitive process and ultimately we chose to partner with Accel to lead our round. Their global platform and experience with hyper-scaling enterprise SaaS companies like Slack, UiPath, Dropbox, Atlassian, Qualtrics, Fiverr, and others gives us a wealth of experience and a powerful network to draw on as we enter our next phase of growth.
We were fortunate to have the interest of many investors off the back of our 5x ARR growth, 4x customer growth, and 2x headcount growth. It was a competitive process and ultimately we chose to partner with Accel to lead our round. Their global platform and experience with hyper-scaling enterprise SaaS companies like Slack, UiPath, Dropbox, Atlassian, Qualtrics, Fiverr, and others gives us a wealth of experience and a powerful network to draw on as we enter our next phase of grow
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Every investor understood our numbers, but not every investor really understood the scope of our vision as something far beyond just another HR platform. When we met Accel we knew we were aligned on the true potential of what we were building.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our 7-figure enterprise deals, the quality of customers, and our rapid growth got us a lot of attention from investors. What I think really got our investors over the line was the fact that we are really defining a new category of enterprise software, emerging as a clear market leader, and addressing an enormous market.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We have a number of exciting areas where we are further expanding the functionality of our platform and releasing new products, we will be further investing in building our partner ecosystem, expanding our global presence and hiring across functions, and bringing gloat to more of the world’s leading enterprises.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Stay laser-focused on maintaining happy customers and on revenue efficiency. And always focus on your people first – they will be the ones to get you to each new milestone.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Demand for our platform is growing every quarter across verticals and market segments, so we are laser-focused on meeting the incredible demand in the market for the Talent Marketplace category we pioneered. We also have an aggressive product roadmap with a lot of innovations coming in both features and use cases that we are excited to tell the market about in the coming months. All of that requires amazing people, of course, so we are hiring rapidly and plan to double our headcount by end of the year.