Over the past decade, so-called Chief Public Officers (CPOs) have seen a dramatic expansion of their day-to-day responsibilities. The role has evolved from an administrative HR function to a more strategic one, especially as the pandemic has thrown a spotlight on the importance of retention, upskilling and recruitment during the crisis. But despite the increased interest — CPOs are the third fastest-growing C-level position, according to LinkedIn — CPOs often lag behind sales, marketing, and customer execution in terms of their approach to analyzing data.
With the aim of effecting change, entrepreneur Joseph Kwan founded Nauetic, a platform designed to provide insights on metrics such as attrition, diversity and headcount growth. Nauetic integrates with HR systems to allow CPOs to run analyzes and generate reports automatically, and also offers suggestions on how to improve employee retention if the platform identifies an issue with turnover .
Nauetic today raised $36 million in a Series B round led by EQT Ventures, with participation from Accel and Menlo Ventures. More than 200 angel investors contributed, including CPOs from Bill.com, Zapier, Box and Calm.
“We’re not building an analytics tool or any other weary community — we’re building a second brain, a cybernetic enhancement that gives CPOs superpowers… we consider ourselves Salesforce’s first, early cloud customer. Let’s envision building a relationship management system,” Kwan told TechCrunch via email, framing Nauetic’s mission in decidedly advanced terms. ,[We’re] continues to educate each CPO that they need data and analytics to earn respect as the next generation of people leaders.”
The Nauetic platform can integrate with human resource information systems, applicant tracking systems, and performance and learning management apps, which can spot trends across the organization. At one time, Noetic claimed to be exploring machine learning models to predict drivers of attrition and turnover, the successful or rapidly promoted employees and employees who become central to the success of their departments.
Nauetic customers also gain access to a forum, CPOHQ, where they can discuss HR-specific topics such as budget planning and immigration policies online and in person at dinners, workshops, and summits. CPOHQ also hosts documentation containing best practices and playbooks contributed by a community of over 2,000 CPOs.
Nauetic counts Credit Karma, Quiet, Checker, Mural and Sync among its customers, and while Kwan wouldn’t reveal an exact figure, he said it grew 500% year over year. The startup’s war chest is worth about $50 million, as Nauetic prepares to add about a dozen people to its 50-person workforce.
“Noetic was actually founded by the pandemic, which acted as a major tailwind for the company’s growth. CPO leverages Nauetic’s qualitative and quantitative tools to navigate the difficult people challenges of the pandemic. The widespread technical slowdown has also reinforced the need for solutions to support a strategic human resources task,” Kwan said. “We have several years of runway with our current burn.”
Nauetic also benefits from the belief that HR tech is a safe bet, even during recessions. Data from WorkTech shows that VC investment for H1 2022 is on track to meet or exceed the record $17.9 billion set in 2021, while Q2 for the HR sector with an investment of $4.6 billion It was the fourth biggest quarter ever.