Making Work Better: Humu Applies Behavioral Science and AI to Optimize Employee and Enterprise Performance

As the world shifts towards a knowledge economy, enterprises need to re-imagine how they do business. They are realizing that their employees are their most important asset and are searching for a smarter way to engage, encourage, and drive the best performance. Enter Humu, a platform working at the intersection of behavioral science and AI to solve that very issue.

Humu, a recent addition to the TCV portfolio, is rapidly gaining adoption from some of the world’s largest and most complex organizations. Its intelligent technology platform coaches managers and employees into developing work habits that are scientifically proven to drive performance. Humu was co-founded by CEO Laszlo Bock, former Google SVP of People Operations, and is the output of decades of his work and experience in helping make HR a more data-driven function. Laszlo is uniquely positioned to build the Humu technology platform into a must-have for organizations looking to drive employee engagement, optimize performance, and improve productivity.

Specifically, by nudging employees with short, behavioral science-backed recommendations, Humu provides personalized guidance that’s unique to each employee, helping workers to build better habits, while also driving towards organizational goals, including employee retention, manager effectiveness, productivity, and inclusive cultures.

TCV is thrilled to lead Humu’s $60 million Series C. The investment, which follows two years of significant growth for the Company, will fuel new product innovations geared to support managers and their teams. TCV venture partner Jessica Neal, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, has joined Humu’s Board of Directors as part of our new partnership.

TCV’s experience in seeing the magic in the Right Content, Right Person, Right Time

TCV has long understood the value of delivering engaging, timely content to the right person at the right time and has invested based on this thesis for over two decades, including in companies like Netflix (video), Spotify (music), Peloton (fitness), and Newsela (K-12 instructional content).

TCV believes that timely content curation and delivery should extend from our consumer lives to our work lives: if Netflix can feed us more of what we need to keep us entertained, why wouldn’t we benefit from similar capabilities in the workplace? Businesses need a system that serves us the right content at the right time to help us perform better.

What is exciting about Humu? Humu is driving real outcomes

Humu’s AI-based Nudge Engine™ technology drives timely “nudges” to encourage employees to do more of what creates optimal outcomes and experiences for employees and enterprises. Nudges are delivered in curated pathways that are algorithmically generated, sequenced, and tailored to a particular initiative and employee.

At a glance:

  • Every Humu nudge is based on academic research and carefully crafted by Humu “people analytics” experts
  • User experience panels ensure nudges are easy to understand and act on. Feedback loops make it possible to turn off what’s not working, and send more of what is
  • Employees turn to nudges more and more over time. Sustained nudge engagement rates across customers are as high as 95%

At Silicon Valley Bank, Humu’s nudges focus managers and employees on what matters most – and remind them at just the right moments to adjust their habits. That could be in supporting managers who may be too focused on execution at the cost of supporting employee development and encouraging them to find ways to offer their people personalized growth opportunities. Don’t take our word for it…hear it directly from Humu’s customer SVB:

“People don’t have to wait for management to roll out a time-intensive program. Humu provides our employees with relevant, customized feedback that’s not generic or mundane. Nudges democratize the employee engagement process; they make learning much timelier and easier for everyone involved. We have a 70% open rate, which means it’s going really well. The right nudge at the right time really makes all the difference.”

Chris Edmonds-Waters, Chief Human Resources Officer at Silicon Valley Bank

A team that helped build a trillion-dollar business, and is now on a mission to solve work for everyone

Humu’s CEO Laszlo Bock helped build and lead Google’s people function for ten years, a role in which he was responsible for attracting, developing, retaining, and delighting ‘Googlers’ (he distilled a lot of his practices and insights into his book published in 2015, Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead).

He co-founded Humu in 2017 with former Google colleagues Wayne Crosby (former Director of Engineering) and Dr. Jessie Wisdom (former People Analytics Manager). Together, this formidable team founded Humu “to make work better through machine learning, science, and a little bit of love” – not to mention everything they had learned about smart use of data.

“When we began this journey in 2017, we knew our experience in pioneering the field of people analytics would help us build what we believe is the best technology for supporting managers and employees, and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made.

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.”

Laszlo Bock, CEO of Humu

TCV is excited to be a partner in building a category leader

TCV believes Humu represents an opportunity to back an emerging leader in the HR technology sector, led by a world-class team that’s uniquely positioned to penetrate a massive market with compelling industry growth tailwinds. With this latest round of funding, Humu aims to take steps towards executing its bold vision of facilitating building a unique, high-performing culture for its client organizations based on proven best practices. 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 impact on the way we all work.

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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 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