Consolidated in the Cloud: Darwinbox Delivers End-to-End Talent Management on Demand

Although it’s been over 20 years since McKinsey officially christened the catchphrase “war for talent,” its implications are felt more today than ever before. Global business has become increasingly competitive and borderless, and both the importance and difficulty of attracting and retaining world-class talent has steadily grown. The Covid-induced Great Resignation has now provided the exclamation point needed for companies to wake up to this new reality. 

This massive structural shift has, in turn, escalated the importance of HR teams and shone a spotlight on the tools at their disposal to provide amazing employee experiences from hire-to-retire.

Darwinbox, headquartered in India, has been making waves in this space for many years and we are delighted to welcome them to the TCV family. The company aims to transform HR management and employee engagement via its unique end-to-end cloud-native HR suite. 

Darwinbox’s HCM platform offers both Core HR (the central system of record for employee data) as well as a broad, integrated HR suite spanning the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, workforce management, employee engagement, performance & talent development, and integrated payroll.

Increasing employee engagement, optimizing performance and productivity, and leveraging technology and data are areas that TCV has been actively investing in. For example, TCV portfolio company Humu’s intelligent technology platform coaches managers and employees into developing work habits that are scientifically proven to drive performance. 

“Investing in technology to find, retain, and engage talent has become inevitable for organizational success,” says Jessica Neal, Venture Partner at TCV. “The pandemic has shown us clearly that we need to support and empower our employees differently, and Darwinbox is on a mission to enable that. I’ve been impressed with their offerings which provide HR leaders with a solution to address the entire employee lifecycle.” 

Challenging the Old Guard

Let’s put Darwinbox’s achievements in context. The mid-market and enterprise HCM landscape in Asia has been dominated by antiquated solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle, and, to a lesser extent, Workday for many years. In our view, these platforms were designed decades ago and, owing to their on-prem legacies, have largely failed to innovate. We think they provide rather poor experience for employees and HR teams alike, lack flexibility, have painful & lengthy implementation processes, and are often expensive. 

In contrast, Darwinbox offers a cloud-native, mobile-first offering, architected to be easy to configure and implement even for large and complex organizations. Darwinbox also has deep understanding of the local cultural context ‒ their mobile-optimized offering (optimized to work across a broader range of device and network types) is a prime example of this given the low level of desktop access for employees across industries in some of the emerging markets.

This differentiated approach has enabled Darwinbox to quickly win share in some emerging markets, with 150+ customers already having switched to Darwinbox from SAP, Oracle, or Workday. As a result, it is among the fastest-growing cloud HCM platforms in Asia today, and on track to be the #1 cloud player by scale in Asia within the next two years. 

Darwinbox’s success is receiving global recognition and the company recently secured a prized spot on Gartner’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud HCM Suites (the only vendor of Asian origin to do so). It is also the highest-rated HCM platform globally on Gartner Peer Insights (4.8/5 stars).

Putting the Employee First

A key driver of Darwinbox’s success is its design philosophy that puts the employee experience at the heart of every decision the firm makes. The platform replicates the frictionless and highly-optimized user experiences in the workplace that we have become accustomed to in our daily lives, while at the same time preserving enterprise goals on talent management and needs on scalability and security. 

Reflecting this, one of Darwinbox’s north star metrics is user engagement, citing DAU/MAU of 50+% reflecting the value it is providing to its customers (and driving stickiness once the platform has been rolled out across the employee base).

Built from Asia, for the World

Darwinbox, which employs over 500 people today, was co-founded in 2015 by Jayant Paleti, Rohit Chennamaneni, and Chaitanya Peddi who bring deep expertise and collective decades of experience working with HR and digitalization processes from their time working at McKinsey and Ernst & Young. 

While built out of India, the team has taken a very deliberate approach to scaling (e.g. building fully flexible architecture that can be quickly tailored to match local HR workflows) and has always had global ambitions. After several years of operating in India, Darwinbox made its first foray into international expansion in 2019, and began building up its presence in Southeast Asia, a region which exhibited many of the same pain points experienced by customers in India. Since then, Darwinbox has begun expanding into the Middle East and intends to continue expanding its footprint globally, growing an already impressive customer base (1.5M+ users across 650+ companies in over 90 countries).

We, at TCV, are thrilled to be partnering with the entire Darwinbox team on this journey. And, as usual, we’re in it for the long haul.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This blog post is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Humu and TCV Partner on $60 Million in Series C Funding Round, Fueling Growth of Science-Based, AI-Powered Technology to Build High-Performing Teams and Managers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Humu, the HR technology company combining behavioral science and technology to help employees build better habits at work, today announced $60 million in Series C funding. The round was led by TCV, one of the world’s leading growth equity firms, with additional investors from Humu’s previous funding rounds including Index Ventures, IVP, and SVB Capital, and new investors Global Founders Capital and Blue Ivy Ventures. The investment will fuel new product innovations focused on supporting managers and their teams. TCV venture partner Jessica Neal, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, will join Humu’s Board of Directors as part of the partnership.

The investment follows 10x growth in users over the past two years. Humu, whose platform coaches managers and employees into developing work habits that are scientifically proven to drive performance, has emerged as the leading force in HR technology as companies evolve their people-management strategies in the new age of work. By nudging teams with short, science-backed recommendations, Humu provides personalized guidance that is unique to each employee and also aligned with company goals. With Humu, customers see improvements in retention, manager effectiveness, team performance, and inclusion.

“Humu, through technology and science, can help shift behavior in an organization,” said TCV Venture Partner Jessica Neal and board member at Humu. “Its ability to provide individualized support to employees and managers that can scale across an entire organization and drive outcomes that HR leaders care about is truly unique. Employees who are actively engaged with Humu have shown to be significantly less likely to leave their jobs, effectively lowering retention risks for companies. Feedback from customers is that Humu has become invaluable to their HR efforts. This is not generally the sentiment with HR technology.”

“As a firm that focuses on long-term value creation, TCV believes that Humu with its deep background in people analytics, has the potential to make a positive, and large, impact on the way we all work,” continued David Eichler, Partner at TCV.

With this latest round of funding, Humu will take steps towards executing its bold vision of making it easy for every organization to build a unique, high-performing culture, based on proven best practices. This vision, which includes manager-focused product developments and an expansion of Humu’s footprint within enterprise customers, will be fueled by hiring for roles within product development, commercial, and science teams.

“When we began this journey in 2017, we knew our experience in pioneering the field of people analytics would help us build the best technology for supporting managers and employees, and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made,” noted Humu CEO Laszlo Bock. “This latest investment, led by TCV, signals our partners’ confidence in our ability to deliver on that promise long into the future, and we’re excited for what we’ll bring to the market, especially for managers, in the months to come.”

As companies continue to navigate uncertainty and transform how (and where) work happens, employees will need more personalized, targeted support than ever. Managers in particular play an increasingly important role in connecting employees with the vision of the C-suite. According to data from Humu, teams are 80% more likely to make improvements when they see their manager taking action. And during the pandemic, employees with a manager who offered them personalized support and development opportunities were 7.9x more likely to stay at their jobs. But this added responsibility has left managers struggling to balance team workloads, boost performance, and combat burnout. Against this backdrop, Humu is enabling managers and employees to engage more quickly, honestly, and constructively, so that they can make work better for themselves and their teams.

By increasing its ability to support managers, Humu will further help companies improve team performance. Specifically, its platform pinpoints the most important habits managers and employees should develop to hit company goals, and then nudges teams into practicing those exact behaviors in their day-to-day work. By combining behavioral science best practices with technology, it empowers leaders to support their people in a way that’s modern and measurable.

Humu works with companies like Expedia Group, Kickstarter, and sweetgreen to deliver timely, personalized, and relevant coaching so that managers and employees can do their best work every day. For more information or to view open positions, visit humu.com.

About Humu 
Humu is an action management platform that makes it easy for employees to improve, every single week. Science shows that the fastest path to improvement is via personalized coaching in the flow of work. That’s exactly what Humu does. Humu nudges managers and their teams to build the specific habits that will lead to their organization’s success. Unlike most tools, Humu combines Nobel-prize winning science and technology to pinpoint which behaviors and people skills leaders, managers, and employees need to be effective. Humu helps customers drive outcomes like improving managers, increasing agility, building more inclusive cultures and boosting team performance.

For more information about how Humu can help your employees, please visit humu.com/web-demo

About TCV 
Founded in 1995, TCV was established with a clear vision: to capture opportunities in the technology market through a specialized and consistent focus on investing in high-growth companies. Since inception, the firm has built a track record of successfully backing private and public businesses that have developed into dominant industry players across internet, software, FinTech, and enterprise IT. TCV has invested over $16 billion to date, including $3 billion in fintech. TCV has helped guide CEOs through more than 145 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV has invested in cutting edge technology companies including Airbnb, Brex, HireVue, Klarna, LinkedIn, Mambu, Miro, Mollie, Netflix, Payoneer, Peloton, Revolut, Trade Republic, Spotify, Wealthsimple, and more. TCV has successfully executed over 350 investments of varying structures, including mid-stage, late stage and public company investments, and has offices in Menlo Park, New York, and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit tcv.com.

Media Contact 
Sydney Perkins 
Mission North for Humu 
humu@missionnorth.com

Katja Gagen
TCV
kgagen@tcv.com

SOURCE Humu