Humaans: welcome to the future of people operations
The HR tech market is crowded with strong point solutions, like Greenhouse, Peakon and DocuSign, but Humaans stands out by offering a different approach.
We first met Humaans back in 2020 when Pento, an automated payroll company and part of the Moonfire portfolio, introduced us. Pento was already using the product and thought the founders, Giovanni Luperti (CEO) and Karolis Narkevicius (CTO), really had something. After our first meeting, we knew they did – and we were the first money in.
The vision the pair had when we first invested was as clear then as it is now: by connecting up best-in-class HR point solutions and automating people operations, Humaans is reimagining the people and talent function for the 21st century.
And they’ve gone from strength to strength. Just last month, they closed their $15m Series A, led by Stripe alum Lachy Groom, with participation from the likes of Exor, Exponent Founders Capital, Shopify founder Tobias Lütke, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield and Niantic COO Megan Quinn – adding to their already amazing roster of angels, including former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Des Traynor from Intercom and Dylan Field from Figma.
The HR tech market is crowded with strong point solutions, like Greenhouse, Peakon and DocuSign, and all-in-one human resources information systems (HRIS), like HiBob, BambooHR and Personio. Humaans stands out by offering a different approach.
The problem is that these many point solutions, while powerful in themselves, make for fragmented, unwieldy workflows. And the legacy HRIS players, while offering to do it all, build their own walled gardens, with proprietary solutions and basic integrations forcing companies into particular ways of running their people ops. But you can’t strait-jacket something that is peculiar to each business. And the issues you have when you’re 100 people are not the same ones you have as you scale to two, three, four hundred people. The way you run your hiring, onboarding and performance management cycle changes, and the technological support you need to scale should grow with you.
That’s why Giovanni and Karolis have been in growth mode from day one: the companies they were going after had the same mindset. And it’s that attitude that fuels Humaans’ unique proposition.
Rather than imposing a fixed structure or set of tools on a company, Humaans joins up the HR point solutions that a company is already using or wants to use. It acts as the central node through which every HR component – payroll, pension, employee engagement, onboarding, training – can flow through, turning manual processes into simple workflows. This nimble product design supports teams as they scale, because they can easily switch individual solutions in and out as their needs change, without having to re-architect their core data layer. That’s the beauty of Humaans: whatever combinations of solutions a company is using, Humaans still plays that central role, connecting everything together. It’s built to flex and grow with a company and its people.
So whatever the size of the business, Humaans automates HR workflows and makes people operations seamless. It gives people teams a clear line of sight across the entire business, and allows HR, IT, engineering, finance and other cross-functional teams to collaborate more effectively in a way that boosts human performance. This is all the more important now in a world where a decentralised workplace is becoming the norm.
But Humaans is also tapping into a broader transformation. By building software on top of software, rather than trying to replace individual tools in the stack, Humaans is enabling a future where developers can start to build on top of Humaans’ infrastructure. It becomes not just a way to connect up the HR tech stack, but a way for companies to quickly develop and deploy new solutions where integration is baked in – fast-moving scale ups can build their own ways of working.
We couldn’t imagine a better team to realise that future. Giovanni, previously a director of product design at Qubit, focuses on customer delight at every step. How do we do this in the fastest, most seamless, most delightful way possible? Karolis, having been a director of engineering at Qubit for seven years, can execute it. They’re bringing a product-driven approach to a space that has always been rather process-oriented. By focusing on the people first, they can empower them to develop and evolve their own processes.
So what’s next? Right now, they’re building out their management team and looking to double down on their UK and European presence. And they’re showing a remarkable ability to move up market as they target and close larger clients, who are typically more risk averse when it comes to trying new tech for core functions. Longer term, they want to span the entire lifecycle of an employee, from the job offer to the exit interview. They’re looking at every touchpoint along that journey, finding the automation opportunities and building the integrations to make it happen.
Humaans was conceived to address the pain points of business leaders tired of dealing with clunky HR systems, but its ambition is so much more. It’s set to reshape the people and talent function, and change the way HR tech is deployed and distributed. We’re delighted to be working with Giovanni, Karolis and the team as they seek to realise it.