SAN FRANCISCO–There’s a shift happening in the world of work that’s taking place in almost every organization — and leading investors are starting to notice. Marked by increasingly distributed teams and connected by increasingly digital communications, HR teams are deploying new practices and technologies to give them an edge in attracting, empowering and retaining top talent.
HR platform Sapling is building the People Management Platform of the Future — one focused on empowering People Operations teams with connectivity, data and insights on their global workforce. The SF-based startup has raised $4 million in seed financing led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund, Gradient Ventures, with participation from Tuesday Capital.
Sapling’s integration-first approach allows teams to connect the tools and software they’re already using, like Lever for recruiting, ADP for payroll, or G Suite for productivity. Where other HR tools have focused on basic checklists and manual workflows, Sapling’s strategy is focused on AI-powered automation and predictive insights, enabling HR to focus on the people side of People Ops, and empowering teams to make data-driven people decisions.
Zach Bratun-Glennon, Partner at Gradient Ventures, is excited by Sapling’s potential to leverage AI and automation in People Operations. “When we met the Sapling team, we were immediately excited by their intuitive and intelligent software. What started off as a phenomenal onboarding solution has quickly transformed into a robust, data-driven People Management platform.”
Sapling co-founder and CEO Bart Macdonald, echoes Gradient Ventures’ enthusiasm, and also understands how to balance the needs of modern HR teams with where People Ops is heading. “As HR professionals on high-growth teams ourselves, we’ve had front-row seats to the challenges high-growth, global teams are facing. We’ve taken these learnings and we’re building a platform to help teams drive greater workforce productivity, surface predictive people insights, and build more connected work experiences.”
One such team is InVision, makers of popular software for design teams and the world’s largest fully-remote workforce. InVision leverages Sapling to automate administrative communications, workflows, software provisioning, HR documentation, and notifications — saving 1,000+ hours of administration.
Shelby Wolpa, VP of People Operations at InVision, says, “With almost 1,000 people across the world, it’s critical that we provide a consistent employee experience that attracts and retains the world’s best talent. Having the right tools to automate the heavy lifting of our People Operations has been pivotal to our success, and Sapling has been the technology backbone that connects our recruitment, HR, finance and IT functions.”
Since founding Sapling in 2016, co-founders Bart Macdonald and Andy Crebar have grown the platform to help customers with teams distributed across more than 50 countries. These include companies like InVision, KAYAK, OnDeck and Digital Ocean, who have leveraged Sapling to grow their teams by up to 10X. Sapling sees AI’s potential as a tool to transform the way companies connect with their employees, and continues to invest in data-driven insights and predictive analytics solutions.
Sapling is the leading onboarding and HR platform supercharged for medium-sized companies. Our software streamlines HR processes, creates a consistent employee experience, and empowers People Operations teams with connectivity, data, and insights on their global workforce. As the platform of choice for InVision, Kayak, OnDeck, Digital Ocean and more, we believe when you create a great employee experience, HR can better support teams to do their best work.
About Gradient Ventures
Gradient Ventures is Google’s AI-focused venture fund — investing in and connecting early stage startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in artificial intelligence. The fund focuses on helping founders navigate the challenges in developing AI-based products, from leveraging training datasets to helping companies take advantage of the latest techniques, so that great ideas can come to life. Gradient was founded in 2017 and is based in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit Gradient.com.