Humaans raises $5M seed to make it easier for companies to on-board and manage staff

Humaans, a London-based HR startup, has raised $ 5 million in seed funding to accelerate the development of its employee on-boarding and management platform. Backing the round is Y Combinator, Mattias Ljungman’s Moonfire, Frontline Ventures and former head of Stripe Issuing, Lachy Groom.

A number of other investors, made up of seasoned entrepreneurs and startup operators, also participated. They include LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner (via Next Play Ventures), Stripe COO Claire Johnson, Figma CEO Dylan Field, Intercom co-founder Des Traynor, former Workday CTO David Clarke, former Benchmark GP Scott Belsky, Notion COO Akshay Kothari, Qubit co-founder Emre Baran, Evervault CEO Shane Curren and Stripe head of security Gerardo Di Giacomo.

Founded by former Qubit employees Giovanni Luperti and Karolis Narkevicius, Humaans came into existence formerly in April 2020 after the pair quit the product agency they had founded together. With a soft launch the previous year while bootstrapping, and with validation from early users, Luperti and Narkevicius decided they had found enough product-market fit to focus on the startup full-time.

“We bootstrapped Humaans by reinvesting capital from the previous businesses we co-founded,” explains CEO Luperti. “After gaining initial commercial traction, we decided to raise capital and brought a number of investors and operators onboard, and joined Y Combinator”.

Pitching itself as a central hub for employee on-boarding and management — or a single source of truth for staffing — Humaans aims to play nicely by integrating with other existing SaaS used across the “HR stack”. This is because scaling companies are increasingly rejecting all-encompassing HR software and using the best modern SaaS offerings for various different functions.

“Companies are frustrated with poorly integrated HR stacks, making processes slow while exposing them to compliance risks,” says Luperti. “This is why the adoption of point solutions is increasing dramatically. Companies are adopting what’s best based on their needs and stage of growth to address their people needs”.

For example, a company may choose an applicant tracking system, a performance management system, contract management software and an employee engagement platform, and so on. “This makes the ‘all-in-one’ model antiquated, creating the opportunity for a solution like Humaans to emerge. We’re building a layer of infrastructure for all employee data”.

This is seeing Humaans attempt to bring together the full HR stack and automate processes like on-boarding, off-boarding and compensation management with fast workflows that can be set up not dissimilar to an IFTTT or Zapier-style type of interaction model.

Image Credits: Humaans

“If you ask around, most employees dislike their HR software,” says Luperti. “HR tools have historically been clunky, slow and not good at providing a good user experience. Existing players focused more on sales and acquisition than retention through product. But HR buyers today are more sophisticated than ever and have an appetite for best in class. We’re building the Slack of HR… an employee management platform that’s both delightful and very powerful”.

To that end, Humaans says it grew 3x in the past few months and is popular amongst distributed companies, such as Pleo, ChartMogul, Bombinate, HeySummit and Pento.

Adds the Humaans CEO: “There are two segments of existing players: those targeting SMEs, and those working with corporations. Serving the companies in the middle is the opportunity we’re going after”.

Startups – TechCrunch

Outfit wants to make DIY home improvements easier to tackle

Doing home renovations yourself can be more cost-effective than hiring a contractor, but many people don’t know where to begin. Ian Janicki, the founder and CEO of DIY home renovation startup Outfit, has always wanted to make architecture and design more accessible to people.

“I realized I could leverage my knowledge of being handy to create a product that scaled,” he told TechCrunch.

For those who want to go through the Outfit process, the first step is submitting information about the space they’re looking to renovate, such as dimensions and photos, as well as the maximum amount they’re looking to spend. Outfit then provides information about the expected cost of the project, the handiness level required to complete the project and everything that would need to be done in order to complete the project.

“We make sure it’s transparent and that you understand the amount of time that might be required,” Janicki said.

Once someone decides they want to move forward, Outfit then sends all the necessary tools and materials to the customer. Through the app, Outfit offers a step-by-step guide for completing the project. In the event someone gets stuck, they can chat with Janicki or someone else from the Outfit team for support.

Image Credits: Outfit

Outfit has had a small set of pilot customers — some who have completed their projects and some whose projects are still underway.

“The millennial generation is now starting to purchase their homes and has been accelerated because of remote work and COVID,” Janicki said. “They’re the Ikea generation and can put together bookshelves and are really used to digital experiences and are now demanding this digital solution.”

So far, the projects have ranged in cost from $ 1,000 to $ 15,000, but it really depends on things like how invasive the project is, how big the space is and more, Janicki said. The rendered “after” photo below would probably cost about $ 9,000. In general, Outfit charges customers the cost of the actual materials (e.g. power drills, wrenches, cabinets, tiles, etc.) and then adds a percentage of the total on top as a surcharge to the customer.

outfit before and after kitchen renovation

Image Credits: Outfit

Down the road, Outfit envisions offering rentals of the tools themselves, but Janicki said he just wanted to streamline everything in the early days.

“Reverse logistics is complicated to we’re trying to take it one step at a time,” he said.

There are a number of home improvement startups out there, such as Eano, Renno and others, but Janicki said he’s not aware of any direct competitors. He said he recognizes that there are some people who are fully capable of buying all the necessary items themselves, watching a video on YouTube and then completing the project. Meanwhile, homeowners are also just as capable of hiring someone to do the project for them. But with Outfit, Janicki sees it as somewhere in between. He calls it “DIY plus.”

“In terms of being handy, it’s a rare trait that everyone appreciates,” Janicki said. “If we can elevate people in their handiness level, I’m going to be super happy. It’s that pride that you were actually able to accomplish that.”

Outfit is currently available nationwide. To date, the company has backing from Y Combinator, and previously raised about $ 700,000 from investors like GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, B Capital Group’s Crissy Costa, Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia and others.

Startups – TechCrunch

Bestauction.com uses reverse auctions to make the procurement process easier

To keep your business running smoothly, you need a variety of supplies. While procurement is an unavoidable part of doing business, it can also be expensive and time consuming to obtain everything you need. What can you do to ensure you’re getting quality products and services at the best prices as quickly as possible? Bestauction.com has a solution.

Bestauction.com is an online platform designed to help individuals and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) manage the overall procurement process. The platform helps users buy and sell goods and services faster and more efficiently. It also allows users to initiate digital collaboration with new suppliers and partners around the world.

Bestauction.com works through a reverse auction process. Instead of a seller posting an item and letting buyers place bids for the item, with Bestauction.com, buyers let suppliers know what products or services they need, and suppliers place bids to win the job. When the buyer has a pool of qualified suppliers participating in the reverse auction, the price the buyer ultimately pays for the needed products or services may be driven lower than what it would have been outside of the auction.

Bestauction.com’s reverse auction method uses the power of the market and competitive bidding to drive prices lower and save buyers money. It also helps buyers save time, so they can spend less time in the procurement process and more time focusing on other areas of the business. Additionally, Bestauction.com enables users to find suppliers from all over the world.

Features

Bestauction.com includes a variety of features to help buyers get the products and services they need and help suppliers obtain orders.

Easy to use: Bestauction.com aims to makes it easy for buyers and suppliers to participate in the bidding process by formatting all screens in a logical way, helping users follow best practices in the bidding process. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to create a bid.

Cloud-based application: Bestauction.com is based in the cloud, so users don’t need to install software. Bestauction.com is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – all users need to access the platform is an internet connection.

Automation: Bestauction.com includes automated tools and approval flows with global reach, helping users make the most of the platform.

Global: Buyers can collaborate with and negotiate with suppliers from all over the world.

Operations management: Using the platform, buyers can manage suppliers, purchases, budgets and costs.

Bestauction.com offers three packages at different price points to cater to different customer needs: The Personal Free package, which allows two auctions per month; the Standard Business package, which allows 50 auctions per month and currently costs $ 49/month or $ 490/year; and the Premium Business package, which allows unlimited auctions each month and currently costs $ 249/month or $ 2490/year. Each plan offers public access to auctions, email templates, free updates, email notification, industries classification and more. The Standard Business package and Premium Business package offer additional features.

Interested?
Instead of searching for suppliers with the best products and prices, why not let suppliers come to you? Learn more or give it a try at Bestauction.com.

Photos
Bestauction.com

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KillerStartups

Female-Founded Afloat App Makes Asking for Help Easier

Asking for help is hard because being vulnerable is hard. Female entrepreneur, Sarah-Allen Preston, launched an app to help people who feel like they’re sinking, but have a hard time leaning on their community to receive a helping hand. Preston shares how her own traumatic experiences pushed her to find a solution to help others create an online support system and accept help in non-traditional ways when they need it most.

When Sarah-Allen Preston shared her big idea, several people in her professional network told her not to pursue it. Not because it was a bad concept, but because it would be a huge undertaking—especially for a busy mother of three.

Sarah-Allen Preston, Afloat
(Sarah-Allen Preston, founder of Afloat)

Preston launched her app, Afloat, to help people who feel like they’re sinking. It allows users to create an online support system and send or receive help.

“I’m very tenacious,” Preston admits. “When I have a gut feeling about something I truly believe in, I need to go for it. So, when I heard people say, ‘Oh, this is kind of scary,’ I said, ‘Nope, I’m doing it.’ And I focused on all the positive feedback instead.”


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When life hands you lemons… make your neighbor lemonade

Preston isn’t your typical tech entrepreneur. In 2017, she ran a successful event design and production company, constantly sprinting from venue to venue throughout Kansas City, juggling all the little details that go into dream weddings and other high-end events. Then, something happened that stopped her in her tracks.

At just 5 months old, her youngest son was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and needed open-heart surgery.

“That kind of rocked my world,” Preston said. “I was thrown for the first huge loop in my life where I felt so out of control and really leaned on my community for support for the first time and in a big way.”

Her friends, family and community rallied around her, giving her the love and support she needed to lead her family. But even as she traversed one of the most challenging times of her life, she was able to look past her own pain to see the suffering of others. She couldn’t help but notice that, oftentimes, patients had one or two caregivers and no other visitors came by to offer support or relief.

When her son was diagnosed, Preston began getting regular massages for stress. During these appointments, she developed a good relationship with her masseuse, openly communicating about a variety of topics, including her time spent at the hospital.

“I had a conversation with my masseuse, and she mentioned that students had to fulfill a certain amount of community service hours before they could get their massage certification,” she recalls. “And I just came from this hospital with all these stressed out, in-patient caregivers that didn’t have the support network I had, and I thought, ‘How great would it be if we could hook up these masseuses that need to fill hours with these people that have no one there for them right now?’

Preston arranged a meeting with the hospital’s family resource center. They loved the idea, so she made it happen. They now offer massage services to in-patient caregivers every Tuesday inside the hospital’s Kreamer Resource Center.

She couldn’t believe how good it felt to help others. This experience planted a seed that she filed away in the back of her mind as her son’s health improved, and her life eventually went back to normal.


Related: How AR and AI are Driving Innovation Amid Social Distancing

Raise your hand if you need a hand

Fast forward two years and Preston’s life was in chaos once again. She made the difficult decision to end her marriage, and, this time, she chose to suffer in silence. When her son was in trouble, she leaned on her network, but when she was in pain, she chose to isolate from her network: “I had the same support network, but I didn’t want to access them because I wasn’t ready to be vulnerable about it yet.”

She thought to herself, “I wish I could send out a signal for a little help—like dinner for my kids—with no questions asked—there should be an app for that!” Instead of wading in self-pity, Preston took action. That’s when the idea for Afloat came together.

“It started as a way just to raise your hand if you needed help,” she explains. “Or if you’re a friend with the bandwidth to give, you can hop on the app and look for ways that you can give back to your friends, your neighbors, your church, your school, whatever communities you’re a part of.”

Along with a partner, Preston used her own money to hire a developer to create the beta version of the app’s simple and friendly interface. Upon downloading, users are guided through a short onboarding process that collects basic information. They then get recommendations to join groups nearby or with interests similar to theirs, or they are prompted to create a group themselves.

Once a user is part of a group, they simply press the plus sign on the bottom of the home screen, which allows them to “ask” for or “give” help. Requests appear in the group feeds, and any “afloats” that a user is currently engaged in will populate at the top of their home screen. To send someone a gift, a user would go to the person’s profile inside the group and select the present icon. From there, they’re forwarded to the shops where they can choose what they want to send. If the giftee shared their address during sign-up, the giver doesn’t have to include any contact details.

“Everyone I was talking to was saying, ‘Yes, I do need help sometimes, but I don’t want to ask for it.’ And it’s always women because we’re so used to carrying everything on our backs. And we say, ‘No, I’m fine. I’ve got it.’ So we built this app to be so uplifting, so easy, and a place where it doesn’t feel scary to reach out and ask for help.”

“I think everyone needs to break down that barrier. Even in a group text, even to my best friends, people I’ve known for years, I wasn’t about to text them and say, ‘Hey, I’m having a bad day. Can you bring me dinner?’ It’s so weird that I wouldn’t just ask that,” she said.

For many people, that hesitation to seek help is a daily struggle. In his book, “All You Have to Do Is Ask,” Wayne Baker, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, writes: “We often underestimate how willing people are to help us. And we often limit ourselves unnecessarily when we’re turned down for the first time.” Afloat is working hard to change that.

Floating forward

After a round of financing, the Afloat app launched out of beta in November 2020. The new version kicks it up a notch, intentionally incorporating small businesses into the equation.

“In our beta, we saw a lot of people paying it forward to support local businesses or trying to get their favorite organizations involved in their gifting and supporting their networks,” Preston said.

For example, a user would opt to send someone flowers from their local flower shop because their mom was in the hospital. With the new version of the app, “We still have that element of neighbors organizing a can drive or someone reaching out with, ‘Hey, I’m out of pipe cleaners I need for a homeschool project.’ But we’re also allowing these personal networks and businesses to work together to build an online community for giving.”

Imagine someone in your network posting, “I need a dozen cookies for my son’s bake sale tomorrow —I’m stuck at work!” You could answer this request by hitting, “I’m on it!” and then fulfill the request in a couple of different ways: You could buy some cookies at the store or bake them yourself and drop them off at the requestee’s home; or, because Afloat has a cookie-crafter as one of its “gifting partners,” you could purchase the cookies and arrange delivery, all within the app.

Afloat has a growing list of gifting partners, including a florist, a cook, a cookie-maker, a monogrammer, and a jeweler, who all happen to be moms. “Moms, I think, just really understand the need to have help and appreciate it,” Preston said.


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Social networking done right

Preston can’t help but wonder what the need for an app to facilitate people asking their inner circles for help says about society.

“Check out ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix,” she said. “We missed the step where social media actually allows you to connect. We went from being genuinely connected to being socially disconnected. Everyone inherently has the same questions about social media, why is it so shallow? Why am I not connecting with people?

“So I think an app like this is really important because it brings a positive action into a tech space. Like when you can get a workout class on your phone. That’s something actionable. It diffuses anxiety; it starts a positive ripple effect,” Preston said.

“We’re hoping to do the same thing with this kind of do-good marketplace, whether that’s helping your neighbor out because she had to run to the grocery store and she needs you to watch her kids, or you’re running to the grocery store and you throw out via the ‘give’ button, ‘Going to Trader Joe’s, anybody need anything?’ Even a small step like that can make a huge difference for someone else.”

Unlike traditional social media, Preston said, “Afloat isn’t all about likes. It’s about really giving to people and connecting with them, connecting with your communities, and with businesses in a more authentic way.”

As we close out one of the most chaotic years in recent history, it’s evident that, more than ever, we need to lean on each other to stay afloat.


Originally published on DellTechnologies.com by Tamara Franklin

The post Female-Founded Afloat App Makes Asking for Help Easier appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

Bestauction.com uses reverse auctions to make the procurement process easier

To keep your business running smoothly, you need a variety of supplies. While procurement is an unavoidable part of doing business, it can also be expensive and time consuming to obtain everything you need. What can you do to ensure you’re getting quality products and services at the best prices as quickly as possible? Bestauction.com has a solution.

Bestauction.com is an online platform designed to help individuals and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) manage the overall procurement process. The platform helps users buy and sell goods and services faster and more efficiently. It also allows users to initiate digital collaboration with new suppliers and partners around the world.

Bestauction.com works through a reverse auction process. Instead of a seller posting an item and letting buyers place bids for the item, with Bestauction.com, buyers let suppliers know what products or services they need, and suppliers place bids to win the job. When the buyer has a pool of qualified suppliers participating in the reverse auction, the price the buyer ultimately pays for the needed products or services may be driven lower than what it would have been outside of the auction.

Bestauction.com’s reverse auction method uses the power of the market and competitive bidding to drive prices lower and save buyers money. It also helps buyers save time, so they can spend less time in the procurement process and more time focusing on other areas of the business. Additionally, Bestauction.com enables users to find suppliers from all over the world.

Features

Bestauction.com includes a variety of features to help buyers get the products and services they need and help suppliers obtain orders.

Easy to use: Bestauction.com aims to makes it easy for buyers and suppliers to participate in the bidding process by formatting all screens in a logical way, helping users follow best practices in the bidding process. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to create a bid.

Cloud-based application: Bestauction.com is based in the cloud, so users don’t need to install software. Bestauction.com is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – all users need to access the platform is an internet connection.

Automation: Bestauction.com includes automated tools and approval flows with global reach, helping users make the most of the platform.

Global: Buyers can collaborate with and negotiate with suppliers from all over the world.

Operations management: Using the platform, buyers can manage suppliers, purchases, budgets and costs.

Bestauction.com offers three packages at different price points to cater to different customer needs: The Personal Free package, which allows two auctions per month; the Standard Business package, which allows 50 auctions per month and currently costs $ 49/month or $ 490/year; and the Premium Business package, which allows unlimited auctions each month and currently costs $ 249/month or $ 2490/year. Each plan offers public access to auctions, email templates, free updates, email notification, industries classification and more. The Standard Business package and Premium Business package offer additional features.

Interested?
Instead of searching for suppliers with the best products and prices, why not let suppliers come to you? Learn more or give it a try at Bestauction.com.

Photos
Bestauction.com

The post Bestauction.com uses reverse auctions to make the procurement process easier appeared first on KillerStartups.

KillerStartups

[data.world in Globe Newswire] data.world delivers faster, easier integrations to virtually any data source

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — data.world, the cloud-native enterprise data catalog company, unveiled a broader and deeper level of visibility into enterprise data by announcing its alliance with Precog. By integrating Precog technology into its platform, data.world customers can now integrate with virtually any data source with stronger support for JSON, Parquet, and other semi-structured and file-based data sources.

Read more here.

The post [data.world in Globe Newswire] data.world delivers faster, easier integrations to virtually any data source appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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Playground Makes it Easier to Figure Out Which Events You Should Be Going to

While the pandemic has halted all in-person events, we have flocked to virtual events to be connected and feel a sense of normalcy.  With an endless sea of events to choose from, finding the right events to attend is still a problem just as it was in the Pre-COVID world.  Playground is an AI-based platform with a slick interface that matches individuals with interesting events and individuals that are relevant to them.  Billing itself as the “Spotify of events”, the company also focuses on supporting creators and hosts of these events to drive interest from the people who stand to benefit from being in these communities.   The company pivoted from offline event discovery as a result of the pandemic and now has a broader potential user base that transcends globally. AlleyWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Jia Ling (Linda) Yang to learn more about the traction of the business, the company’s future plans, and experience pivoting.
AlleyWatch

Devmate automates unit tests for faster, easier software development

Developers create some pretty awesome software. Before the end user ever sees it, though, the coding goes through plenty of testing. Unfortunately for the software developer, this can be a time-consuming process. Many testing solutions use white box techniques, which can result in correct lines of code being marked as incorrect and require developers to spend extra time double checking the code. Luckily, devmate can help.

Devmate, by Automated Software Testing GmbH, is an easy-to-use test code generation tool created to help developers deliver better code every day. Devmate automates unit tests, enabling developers to generate test code from test cases with a simple push of a button. The model editor allows developers to focus on requirements, inputs, and expected outputs. The result is well structured, readable and state-of-the-art test code of the target testing framework.

To use devmate, developers simply install the software on their computer. It doesn’t require users to upload the code, so they’re free to work within their own secure network environment. Unlike other testing solutions that use white box techniques, devmate uses black box techniques that check the code to see if specifications have been met and only reports the errors. Devmate reduces error feedbacks, improves test coverage and offers safer refactoring.

Features

Devmate includes a variety of features to help software developers save time and improve the quality of their software.

  • State-of-the-art test methods: devmate supports ISTQB and ISO standards.
  • Languages support: devmate supports C# and plans to support Java in the near future.
  • Generation of test models from code: with just a couple clicks, devmate automatically parses developed code and creates a new test model.
  • Seamless integration: devmate integrates with Visual Studio 2019, opening in the form of a tab that can be placed and moved.
  • Complex datatypes: devmate supports primitive data types (float int, boolean, etc.) and complex data types (class, maps, and array).
  • Automatic unit test code generation: devmate automatically generates unit test code that is data driven, readable, and well structured. It dramatically reduces the need for manual testing.
  • Support of object-oriented programming: devmate supports most major programming constructs used in object-oriented programming.
  • Code repository: All test data and test cases are saved in the development environment, so there’s no need to an external database.
  • AI-powered recommendation systems: devmate uses AI to make modeling test cases easier.

With devmate, developers get code coverage as well as practical test cases that help validate that their code meets the necessary requirements.

Subscription Options
Devmate offers a free version that you can download and use for up to 10 test models per week. For more test models and other helpful features, they offer a Basic subscription option, Startup subscription option, and Company subscription option.

Interested?
Don’t spend more time than necessary running unit tests. With devmate, you can quickly and easily create test cases and generate test code. Devmate even says it can accelerate test case creation by up to 50%, saving developers time and effort. You can check it out for yourself at devmate.software.

Photos
Devmate

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[Morphisec in PR Newswire] Morphisec Makes Replacing Antivirus Easier Than Ever By Launching Morphisec Guard 5.0

Morphisec, a leader in cloud-delivered endpoint and server security solutions, today launched version 5.0 of Morphisec Guard, its replacement for legacy and next-generation antivirus (NGAV) tools that are increasingly ineffective against unknown and zero-day attacks. Morphisec Guard 5.0 utilizes the company’s patented Moving Target Defense technology to protect against these types of advanced attacks and combines it with enhancements for native security controls of Windows 10, so businesses don’t have to pay for what they already have. This powerful combination provides a more effective and lower-cost alternative to other endpoint security stacks.

Read more on PR Newswire here.

The post [Morphisec in PR Newswire] Morphisec Makes Replacing Antivirus Easier Than Ever By Launching Morphisec Guard 5.0 appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

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