AI talent management platform Beamery has shot to unicorn status — a $1bn+ valuation — after raising $50m in Series D financing from Teachers' Venture Growth (TVG), the venture fund of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.
The round represents an increase of more than 25% on Beamery’s previous valuation, which stood at $800m at its Series C round in June 2021.
Beamery becomes the UK’s latest unicorn at a time when reaching the $1bn+ valuation mark is harder than it has been for at least two years.
Europe’s unicorn dip
A 25% increase on valuation is pretty unexciting. But since there are fewer later-stage rounds taking place currently — and it’s generally harder to reach “record valuations” as quickly as companies did in 2021 — “any new billion-dollar valuation deserves to be celebrated,” says Christoph Klink, partner at global VC firm Antler.
Just 31 unicorns have been crowned in Europe this year — in comparison to 105 last year — as the lack of megarounds has taken its toll on valuations, according to Atomico’s 2022 State of European Tech report.
45 unicorns have also been “de-horned” this year, with their valuations dropping below $1bn. Europe has fewer unicorns now than it did at the start of the year.
Tackling talent problems
Founded in 2013, Beamery’s AI-powered platform helps companies manage the entire lifecycle of talent: from sourcing and hiring candidates to ensuring they stick around for the long haul with employee engagement tools. The platform helps companies design professional development opportunities and training for candidates, which are essential for keeping employees motivated to stay with a company.
Employee retention and engagement have become more important for companies amid turbulent market conditions: startups that have cut staff — and often slimmed down on benefits too — to extend runway have also had to find ways to motivate the people who stay on.
An ongoing digital skills shortage — such as skills in data science, digital product management and user experience design — is also a problem for businesses that Beamery is trying to solve.
In September, it launched its “Universal Skills Platform” to help companies understand what their teams’ current skills and capabilities are, and where they need to plug the gaps. The software also offers tools to help talent teams source the right candidates and reduce bias in the selection process.
“Businesses are under pressure to transform the skills and productivity of their workforce in the face of challenging global economic headwinds,” says Abakar Saidov, CEO at Beamery, adding that, in the UK alone, the digital skills gap is said to cost the economy £63bn a year. Globally, the cost is over $1tn.
“With demand [for talent] outmatching supply, businesses need to be able to first understand what [skills] they have today, and what they will need in the future, and then build these capabilities through personalised employee development,” says Saidov.
Beamery says it has hundreds of enterprise customers, including the BBC and Uber, and 25k users. It says it has helped its clients reduce hiring and retention costs by an average of 50%, and increase employee tenure by 2.5x.
With the new funding, Beamery will continue to invest in its platform — prioritising enhancements that will allow customers to speedily use their talent data for things like workforce planning — and plans to expand its sales footprint in the Asia Pacific region and Latin America.
Beamery has a distributed team of 417 employees, with offices in London, Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and New York.