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Startup in Spotlight: Meet Harriet, a London-based HRtech startup with a £1.2M investment to empower every employee with AI

London-based full-stack AI solutions for HR raises £1.2m pre-seed round

Despite economic challenges, the HR tech sector continues to thrive in 2023. European unicorns in HRtech, such as Factorial and Beamery, are gaining widespread recognition for their inventive solutions in the intersection of human resources and technology.

Now, Harriet, a full-stack AI solution designed to augment HR practices, has landed a £1.2 million pre-seed funding round. Led by Concept Ventures and supported by Frontline Ventures, Portfolio Ventures, and Notion Capital, this funding positions Harriet as a transformative force in the AI landscape for HR. The latest funding will be utilised by the HRtech to build out the team, expand marketing and further develop their products.

Harriet: HR solution with full-stack AI

Founded by two former startup founders; Cecily Motley, previously founder and CEO of Motley, and David Buxton, former founder and CEO of risk profile SaaS company Arachnys, Harriet stands out as the first AI tool designed specifically for HR departments. In a conversation with TFN, the company contends, unlike few other solutions, Harriet goes beyond data management, functioning as a “full-stack” AI assistant capable of preparing internal data for further AI integration and offering personalised support to every employee.

Harriet addresses the critical issue of poor data management, which often hinders successful AI implementation. Through a comprehensive scan of organisational policies and documents, Harriet identifies and rectifies inconsistencies and inaccuracies, paving the way for smooth AI integration.

It streamlines information and documentation, and reduces the burden of “micro-requests” on HR teams. This frees HR professionals to focus on strategic initiatives like culture building, compensation planning, and employee training.

Powered by a Large Language Model, Harriet employs multiple AIs to ensure the accuracy, privacy, and truthfulness of information provided, further enhancing its credibility and reliability.

Personal HR assistant and employee support

Harriet integrates seamlessly with Slack and other HR tools, becoming a personal HR assistant for every employee. This allows employees to handle tasks like booking leave and finding location-specific answers without leaving their usual platforms. Additionally, the platform also offers anonymous support for sensitive inquiries, reflecting its commitment to catering to diverse employee needs.

Seamless integration and technological expertise

Harriet integrates seamlessly with various platforms, including Google Drive, Notion, Xero, HiBob, BambooHR and Zapier, amongst others, ensuring that employees can access HR information and assistance regardless of where it’s stored.

A vision for the future of HR

With Harriet, the company promises that HR teams can become free from administrative tasks and utilise their expertise to maximise their impact on the organisation. Further, Cecily Motley, CEO and co-founder of Harriet, says, “HR and People teams are responsible for so many vital things – from culture to compensation. But too many colleagues see them as just a route to key information, like their payslips and P60s. This means HR teams are drowning in fiddly, low-value admin tasks. Harriet AI is freeing them from this burden; allowing HR teams to focus on their real purpose and show how valuable their role in a company really is.”

Expert guidance for a promising future

Harriet’s journey is further strengthened by its team of advisors, including renowned HR industry leaders Jessica Zwaan and Johannes Sundlo. Their valuable insights contribute to Harriet’s strategic direction and technological advancements.

Investor Oliver Kicks from Concept Ventures expresses his enthusiasm for supporting Harriet’s mission. He says, “Cecily and David are serial entrepreneurs who know how to build products people want to buy. They’re a tenacious, creative duo who have built something that truly adds value. We’re excited to be joining them on this journey and can’t wait to see their innovation make the world of work better for thousands.”

Currently, Harriet faces no direct competitors offering similar policy gap analysis and data integration features. Harriet is targeting the massive $38.8B HR Tech market. The start-up plans to initially focus on the UK and US while emphasising its global applicability and receiving interest from diverse teams around the world. The current team of four boasts a 50/50 male/female balance and reflects a mix of South-East Asian, North American, and European backgrounds.

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