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Knoetic Series B: Unlocking the potential of every Chief People Officer

Today, I’m incredibly excited to share that Knoetic has raised another round of funding — a $36M Series B — as the next chapter of our story unfolds.
Written by:
Joseph Quan

Key takeaways

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A little history…  

A year ago, we launched Knoetic with the news of our $18M Series A. 

At the time, I shared a grand vision: Unlock the full potential of every Chief People Officer, by building the most CPO-centric company in the world.

In the 12 months since, our customer base has grown by 5X, our team has tripled, and we’ve built the most engaged & loved network for Chief People Officers (2,000+ CPOs, with an NPS of 72).

Today, I’m excited to announce our $36M Series B (EQT/Menlo/Accel), bringing our total raised to over $50 million. 

We’re doubling down on our mission to help CPOs - and now their broader teams - make better, faster, smarter decisions with data. 

You can sign up here.

A flashback to our Series A announcement 

Knoetic’s reason for existing 

Why this mission?

First, because as a founder and CEO, I’ve always believed the “people stuff” was by far the most important factor in building an enduring, generational company. 

I found immediate and natural rapport with 100s of Chief People Officers who I’m now lucky enough to call friends, customers, and investors in Knoetic. 

Second, because just as we predicted last year, the 2020s will be the decade of the Chief People Officer. 

In a time of macroeconomic turbulence, a tectonic shift in the employer/employee relationship, and a brave new world of work ushered in by a relentless pandemic, every company, CEO, and board has reached the same conclusion: 

Nothing is more important than getting your people strategy right. 

And no single role is more critical to enabling that strategy than the CPO, collaborating closely with the CEO and the broader leadership team. 

If you’re a Chief People Officer, you’ve lived this firsthand. And you’ve probably run into Knoetic in the last year, as we’ve brought more and more hypergrowth CPOs into our network. 

If you don’t know us yet (hi there!), here’s what you should know:

CPOs face two massive problems in their roles. So naturally, we built two products as the answers. 

Problem #1 was that Chief People Officers wanted - and needed - to be data savvy, just like their peers in revenue, finance, and ops. 

But messy data, fragmented across many systems (HRIS, ATS, Performance, LMS…acronyms galore!) and inexperience with rigorous data crunching held them back. 

Knoetic People Analytics

So Product #1 is Knoetic’s People Analytics: a single source of truth across all of those systems, providing easy access to 100s of metrics and insights within seconds. 

It’s the central dashboard that integrates with 60+ HR systems, giving you a powerful, singular view into everything that’s happening across your company. It allows you to use every best in-class system, stitched together. 

Whether you want to answer questions about employee turnover, retention, diversity, compensation, engagement, or data quality, you’re going to get those answers from Knoetic People Analytics. 

If you’re not using it yet - we hope you start soon! CPOs from multibillion-dollar companies like Figma, Calm, and Credit Karma use the product daily to prepare for board meetings, drive annual planning, and answer their burning questions.

In the last year, Knoetic People Analytics has expanded beyond the Chief People Officer role to also serve HRBPs, people analysts, executive teams, and managers, all of whom need better data to make better decisions about their teams. 

Problem #2 is that the Chief People Officer role is often intensely demanding, deeply isolating, and rife with unprecedented challenges. 

We founded our company in March 2020, right as the pandemic hit. Over the next few years, CPOs faced new existential questions emerging at breakneck speed: 

  • How does our company support employees through COVID? 
  • What changes do I make to my compensation policy in a now-global talent marketplace?
  • How do I rapidly evolve my remote & hybrid strategy? 
  • What social issues do we take a stance on? How do we do that while optimizing for inclusion and without alienating subsets of our population? 

Knoetic CPOHQ

So Product #2 is our CPOHQ community: a curated, invite-only network of the world’s leading Chief People Officers, CHROs, and VPs of People to learn and grow together. 

It’s become THE community for the top-ranked people executive at most leading technology companies. 2,000+ Chief People Officers use the platform to access: 

  • Dozens of curated playbooks, written by CPOs to guide their peers on topics like scaling through hypergrowth, running an all-hands, or instituting a DEI program that works.
  • 100s of polls on what other companies are doing about vaccination policies, leave benefits, raise budgets, and more.
  • 1,000s of questions and answers on anything that’s top of mind for the day. 
  • Exclusive, CPO-only roundtables bringing in veteran CPOs, experts from Stanford, Wharton, Berkeley, Harvard, and experienced Board Directors, Founders, and CEOs. 

Sometimes, more is more. 

At the time, building two products simultaneously was a radical bet. Startup dogma dictates that singular focus is key. That less is more.

But our team held deep conviction that Knoetic could not exist, and we could not deliver the mission, without the combined promise of analytics and community together.

We call Knoetic a “Second Brain” for the Chief People Officer. 

Why? Because just like your brain - there are two hemispheres.

The “Left Brain” is our People Analytics product. It gives you data-driven insights to help you understand what’s happening inside your company.

 

The “Right Brain” is our CPOHQ community. It equips you with qualitative insights to help you understand everything outside your four (virtual) walls. 

What seemed risky at the outset proved obvious in retrospect. Knoetic has been recognized as a pioneer in a new generation of community-led companies, and our People Analytics & CPOHQ Community products have not only become deeply intertwined, but also have continued to reinforce each other in a virtuous circle. 

What’s next for Knoetic? 

In the last two years, we’ve seen People Analytics and CPOHQ become the tools CPOs turn to to drive their agendas and lead their companies into the future. 

With this Series B, we’re making significant investments to enable CPOs to unlock their full potential. Rather than bore you with a roadmap, I’ll share some thematic guidance for where we’re taking the company:

Knoetic will continue building the most CPO-centric company in the world. 

It will be the single platform helping you address the most critical challenges you face. And now, we’ll start giving you - as CPO - the power to bring your other teammates in. 

That includes your HRBPs, People Ops, Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards, your CEO, and your peers (the CFO, CRO, etc.). We’ve realized in order to fully empower the Chief People Officer, we can’t expect you to generate all the answers in Knoetic. Sometimes, you need to put the power of Knoetic in other folks’ hands and let them generate their own reports to really amplify the impact you can have on your organization.

Oh - and we’re bringing on damn good people. For the missionaries who will join us on this journey: 

None of our success this past year between our Series A and today’s Series B happens without great teammates. My singular obsession as CEO has always been to find the best people and build the culture & environment needed to help them deliver 100X impact.  

Since our 2021 announcement, Knoetic has tripled its headcount, hiring 30+ all-stars from companies like Square, Box, Amazon, Amplitude, and Hubspot. 

If you want to do the best work of your life, if you want to be surrounded by people who balance ambition with humility, who are relentless about seeking greatness, who want to make an impact that’ll be felt for the next century… come join us!

Our team would love to meet you personally (visit our Careers Page, or drop me a message at my LinkedIn). 

A snapshot from our recent NYC retreat

The Knoetic investor family grows

With this round, we welcome EQT Ventures (Ali Mitchell) to the Knoetic family as our lead investor. They’re joined by Menlo Ventures (JP Sanday). Our Series A lead, Accel, has also doubled down in this latest round.

In Ali, I found a visionary thought partner, a personal sounding board, and a good human being - the trifecta for any board member. The same holds for JP, who also brings an impressive level of hustle. 

These institutional heavy-hitters join 150+ angel investors, including CPOs and, founders (from Segment, Box, Discord, Front, Glossier, Pinterest, etc.). I’m especially honored by this group, as they felt the magic of our product firsthand and then decided to invest and join us on the ride as investors. 

Other angel investors include notable thinkers who have changed the world with their ideas (like our friend and my former professor, Adam Grant).

Closing note 

I said it last time, but it’s worth repeating. It takes a vision, a village, and a lot of passion to make this work. In the last two years, we built something out of nothing. It feels magical. 

In that vein, I’m grateful to everyone in the extended Knoetic family. The people who believed in us  through thick and thin, the investors who saw our potential, the customers who have stuck by our sides and made our product better every day, and the CPOHQ community that has become the heart of our company.  

See you all soon. 

Special thanks 

Thank you to the team: Connor, Kyriakos, Yash, Jon, Marx, Tim, Mila, Mel, Evan, Lynette, Tom, Chip, Jason, Ahmed, Caitlin, Diana, Katie, Lucas, Vivi, Yung, Divya, Kasha, Dody, Rachelle, Lev, Ze Xuan, Jun Quan, Puvan, Sylvest, Annie, Nestor, Aidan, Trevor, Beth, Lauren, Corey, Kris, Richard, Melanie, Basil, Blake, Brent, Gang, Kevin, Josh, Cory, and Clint. 

Thanks again to the 2,288 Chief People Officers who have made this possible. 

Of course, thanks to my family (P, A, R, E, M, J), without whom none of this would have been possible. 

Much more to come.

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