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One Model lands $41M to bring data science-powered insights to HR

One Model, a platform that uses AI to help employers make decisions about recruiting, hiring, promotions, layoffs and general workplace planning, today announced that it’s raised $41 million in a funding round led by Riverwood Capital.

Christopher Butler, CEO of One Model, said that the capital will be used to “boost several of the company’s growth initiatives,” particularly in the areas of technology, product development, customer success and go-to-market.

“One Model’s people analytics product roadmap will be expanded to solve problems for a diverse array of data science, analyst, people manager and C-level audiences, delivering tailored content proactively through alerts, notifications and individualized reporting,” Butler told TechCrunch via email. “Further investment in One AI will provide more analysts and decision-makers with actionable forecasts, all from a powerful ethical and data governance posture.”

One Model is what’s known as a “people analytics” platform — a platform designed to collect and apply organizational and talent data to improve business outcomes, at least in theory. There’s long been high interest in people analytics; according to a 2018 Deloitte survey, 84% of large organizations rated people analytics as “important” or “very important” and 69% had already formed a people analytics team.

And it’s showing no signs of slowing. By one estimate, the market for people analytics software will grow from $2.58 billion in 2022 to $7.67 billion by 2031.

One Model’s founding team, which includes Butler, hails from Inform, a people analytics service that was acquired by SuccessFactors, now SAP SuccessFactors, in 2010. Following the acquisition, they say they witnessed a growing disconnect between what customers were requesting to do with their people data and the solutions being provided in market.

“Customers want greater access and more flexibility to manage and democratize access to people data and analysis,” Butler said. “More data is being generated and collected by the tools we use to manage the workforce and rarely are they integrated with each other. Every new technology and vendor in the HR space generates data, and organizations are not equipped to manage this data complexity.”

Butler describes One Model as an “enterprise people data orchestration platform.” That’s quite a mouthful. But what One Model essentially does is provide a toolkit for extracting, modeling and governing HR data as well as delivering that data to various applications and services.

One Model can perform basic tasks like identifying areas where a company has a shortage of skills or talent and projecting future workforce needs based on demographic changes and business goals. But beyond this, the platform can calculate the cost of turnover and headcount, attempting to create a plan that measures and reduces this cost over time.

One Model

One Model’s monitoring dashboard, which unifies HR data in one place. Image Credits: One Model

“We recognized an opportunity to transform large organizations by enhancing enterprise people strategies through data insights,” Butler said. “One Model is addressing persistent, age-old data integration challenges that large organizations face, while also tackling modern concerns around ensuring consistent, auditable talent decisions with robust privacy standards and data governance.”

One Model customers can integrate different data sources and data destinations to create reports, dashboards and visualizations. They also gain access to One AI, One Model’s data science suite, which can be used to perform a range of workloads centering around HR data.

For example, with One AI, a user can try to predict the likelihood that an employee resigns within a specified time frame — factoring in aspects like their daily commute and the time since their last promotion. (One wonders how accurate these predictions are, of course, given AI’s potential to pick up on biases in practically any dataset.) Or they could identify opportunities to improve their company workforce’s efficiency, perhaps by reallocating resources or adjusting work schedules.

There’s competition in the people analytics space — see startups like ChartHop and Knoetic. But One Model claims to have built up a sizeable customer base, counting brands including Colgate-Palmolive, Squarespace, Robinhood and Airtable among its list of clients.

“We believe One AI takes a vastly different approach than what is available on the market today,” Butler said. “And we strongly believe in only the most ethical applications of advanced data science because it’s possible to make rational, impactful people decisions fairly and equitably … Our mission is clear: to ensure every workforce decision taken by an enterprise is the best one possible, informed by all relevant enterprise data, and executed in the most transparent and ethical manner possible.”

One Model’s newest tranche brings the Austin, Texas-based startup’s total raised to $44.8 million.

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