According to a recent report, the global talent management software market is estimated to grow 18% annually to $29.7 billion from $7.9 billion in 2017. Talent management software provides HR teams with the ability to control and manage various aspects of HR actions and helps them maintain employees’ details. One such provider is San Francisco-based Reflektive that is trying to gamify the process of employee appraisals and feedback.
Reflektive was founded in 2014 by Erick Tai, Jimmie Tyrell, and Rajeev Behera. The idea to set up Reflektive came to Rajeev when he was working at Playdom, a social gaming company that was acquired by Disney for $760M in 2010. At Disney, Rajeev gained vital experience in product development, which was a stepping stone to meet his entrepreneurial ambition. Under his guidance, his team went on to build mobile games for all of Disney, saw significant success, and began clocking in monthly revenues of more than $1 million. The expansion of his business meant a bigger team. Within six months, Rajeev went from managing six people to a team of more than 80.
As part of this bigger team, Rajeev began to rely on his middle managers – not all of whom were completely capable of handling team interactions. It was then that Rajeev realized that there was a need for a system that could deliver better feedback and enable more frequent communication between managers and staff. He wanted to build a tool that not only processed employee feedback capabilities but also helped provide employee incentives. His search for a such a product ended with nothing. He went back with his idea to the founders of Playdom, who liked his idea and mentored him to develop the tool. He also worked closely with the HR community to ensure that the product he was developing met the needs of the HR teams. Soon, he launched his product. Reflektive has never looked back since.
Today, Reflektive offers a suite of performance management applications for managers and employees. Its platform provides real-time feedback, helps teams set and manage goals, conduct regular feedback and catch-up sessions to drive employee engagement, and provides skills development capabilities. The platform has built integrations with Slack, Gmail, and Outlook to help teams incorporate feedback and goal-setting sessions within their workflows.
Reflektive is privately held and does not disclose its detailed financials. It operates on a subscription-based model, charging its customers between $6-$9 per employee per month for access to its services. It has more than 400 corporate customers and employs nearly 150 people in San Francisco and Bangalore, India. Its customers include names like AAR, Comcast, Conde Nast, Instacart, and Protective Life.
Reflektive has raised more than $100 million in four rounds of funding. Its latest round of funding was held in February 2018, when it raised $60 million at an undisclosed valuation. An earlier round, held in January 2017, had valued the company at $135 million. Investors in the company include Lightspeed Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, TPG Growth, Base10 Partners, and Knollwood Investment Advisory. It is using the latest funding to invest in R&D and expand in other areas of people management including learning, compliance and training.
As part of this objective, Reflektive announced the acquisition of real-time intelligence and predictive analytics solution Shape Analytics in June 2018 for an undisclosed sum. Shape was set up in 2015 and has raised a seed round of about $3 million so far. Its platform integrates people data from multiple sources to deliver comprehensive reporting and insights into employee details. It leverages this data to perform predictive analytics on employee performance. Reflektive will integrate Shape’s offerings into its Analytics product to provide real-time, customizable dashboards and reporting for its people management solutions.
Reflektive has its work cut out with respect to the competition it faces. There are plenty of start-ups in the market that focus on different aspects of the employee management field. For instance Kanjoya focuses on analytics, WideAngle helps with setting up interactions, and Zugata recently introduced an enterprise-focused offering. Then there are bigger players in the market like SAP with SuccessFactors. SuccessFactors has been offering 360 degree reporting, succession planning, and interactive organization chart capabilities for a while. After its acquisition, SAP integrated SuccessFactors with the ERP platform and made it a single-stop-shop for all of HR data requirements. But some believe that millenials are looking for a more interactive feedback mechanism that helps connect employees with their organizations through a feedback-centric approach. Companies like Reflektive are offering this solution by focusing their efforts on goal management and ongoing feedback.
As users, do you find Reflektive’s offerings better than any of its rivals? Reflektive believes that it has leveraged the knowledge it acquired in developing successful games in its tool. Are the employee performance reviews now more gamified, or are they still a chore?
It will be interesting to see if the company stays independent, or gets acquired by the bigger HCM players in the market such as Workday, or even SAP or Oracle.