Chats with HRtech VCs | Amit Karp | Bessemer Ventures


In the upcoming weeks we will feature short interviews with HRTech investors.
We wanted to better understand their view on several topics.
They are all extremely busy, so we are super thankful for Amit Karp, spending a few minutes with us!

Q:  Hi Amit, kindly state the name of your company?
A:  Amit Karp, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

Q:  So…Which HRTech start-ups do you have in your portfolio?
A:  HiBob in Israel. Glint in the US

Q:  We see more and more HRtech applications developed for small and middle market
companies – Is this a trend you feel is catching on and if so why?

A:  Yes, many of the H1IS 1.0 companies such as Workday, Netsuite, etc. focused on large
enterprises. SMEs did not have good and affordable tools and until today most of them rely
on excel and other hacks to manage their people. We are now seeing a crop of companies
targeting these SMEs and allowing them to gain the benefits of using dedicated HR software.
This trend is also happening in other spaces such as finance, procurement, and IT.

Q:  HR professionals are frustrated with HRTech founders for not consulting with them early in
the process and listen to their pains. Startup founders don’t do so as they are concerned with
exposing their ideas too early in the process.
What is your experience with start-ups that you are familiar with and what is the best way to
go about it, in your opinion?

A:  From our experience the earlier you talk to the customer the better. Many of our companies
start engaging with customers even before they started developing a product and show them
mockups to get feedback. The only way for a startup to survive today is to do fast iterations
and constantly adopt the product to customer needs. If you are worried about customers or
anyone else ‘stealing’ your idea- you are in the wrong business. A startup success is 99%
execution and 1% idea.

Q:  It seems many investors are concerned about investing in HRTech, can you explain why in
your opinion this concern exists? We witnessed the LinkedIn acquisition by Microsoft,
MYA’s latest $11.4M round, Woo’s $7M. Would you consider this as a renewed interest
in HRTech?

A:  The issue with HRTech is that often it is very difficult and expensive to build product that
will be valuable for a large customer base. There are tons of small variations between
companies which often requires a lot of customizations or endless features to the product.

Thanks, Amit, for your time!

Further reading: 2017 HR Tech VC hits.


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