The Digital Employee Experience in 2021: what is the status?


HR Tech Trends

At the beginning of this year, major players placed their bets on the Employee Experience through acquisitions or their own developments. Think of the product launches of Oracle's Employee Experience Platform, SAP-Qualtrics (with also the insights of ServiceNow), Microsoft Viva (with the recent acquisition in voice technology, a heir of Belgians Lernout & Hauspie) and Workday that acquired EX-platform Peakon.


This dynamic that embraced the Employee Experience impacted the global HR Tech Market and even forces it to change.


During the first quarter of this year there was an increasing investor confidence in innovative payroll and Human Capital Management Systems in that HR Tech Market. These include capital injections of more than $100 million at i.e. Personio, Payfit and PapayaGlobal. Also, alternative rewarding is being picked up by corporate mobility Startups like Skipr and Mbrella.


In the Benelux we noticed some minor financial injections that could clear the path for some of these scale-ups:


What was particularly striking in our Benelux market is that recruitment technologies are constantly reinventing themselves. Think of the product launches of Minggo and 8Vance with their AI driven Marketplace for recruiters, the launch of Neurolytics (an AI video assessment) and the collaboration between AI technologies Traicie and Actonomy to match hard and soft skills - integrated in Carerix.


Let it be clear that AI and data help determine the course, yet we are still early.

In addition to recruitment, we also saw an increasing interest in everything related to skills: skills management, reskilling, upskilling, skills sourcing &matching. In the latter, the recruitment focus is shifted to the own workforce and an own talent marketplace can be developed.


A pre-summer rush in the HR Tech Market caused a typhoon of heavy investments:

  • Recruiting platform Phenom People raised $100M

  • Recruiting solution Eightfold raised $220M

  • Learning Platform Degreed raised $153M

  • Learning solution Eloomi raised $55M

  • Learning platform GoodHabitz got acquired by Prosus Group for a sloppy €212M

  • Talent Agility & Mobility Solution Gloat raised another $57M in Series C

  • Talent Operating System Beamery received a $138M investment of Accenture

  • Agile HCM System Oyster just raised $50M, totalling over $70M in funding this year alone

  • HR Analytics Solution Visier raised $125M, led by Goldman Sachs

That is over a Billion dollars for the Talent Marketplace of the future in less than 6 months!

The focus is no longer on the external labor market in terms of candidates, also the own workforce can be re-engaged through various learnings in times of digital transformation. Or, how learning will become the new recruiting.


Not only the investors, but also the various solutions have noticed this, and they