GLINT_JimBarnettHeadshot
Jim Barnett, co-founder and CEO, Glint Courtesy of Glint

This Startup Uses Artificial Intelligence to Tell What Your Employees Think

Aug 30, 2016

Subtle changes in what employees think about compensation or product road maps, or how they feel about specific leaders can often be accurate predictors of future productivity or attribution.

But annual surveys of workforce sentiment can become outdated quickly. That has inspired a gaggle of startups focused on software for “people analytics,” often in the form of short surveys that provide a pulse of what employees think on short notice.

One of those companies, Glint, on Tuesday disclosed a $27 million Series C round led by Meritech Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners. The infusion brings Glint’s total backing to $50 million, but Glint co-founder CEO Jim Barnett declined to discuss the Redwood City, Calif., company’s valuation.

The startup is focused on companies with more than 1,000 employees and it has signed approximately 100 companies as customers, including United Airlines and FICO, Barnett said. Glint’s app works in tandem with a company’s existing human resources management systems, and it can be programmed to send requests for feedback when certain events occurs—such as a change in team management, the completion of a big project, or product launch, and so forth.

Glint plans to use the new round primarily for hiring (Barnett declined to disclose the current size of the startup’s workforce or its revenue) as well as to build additional artificial intelligence into the software based on organizational behavior principles.

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Barnett has plenty of history with startups that use machine learning technologies. His previous startup was ad-tech company Turn, which uses algorithms to optimize online advertising delivery. (He’s still chairman there.) Prior to that, he was a top executive with Overture Search, which was sold to Yahoo more than a decade ago along with the AltaVista search engine.

One of Glint’s better-known rivals is Culture Amp, which added $10 million in funding back in March. (Its total is $16.3 million.) Microsoft is also investing seriously in this category: It snapped up another startup, VoloMetrix, in September 2015.

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