Harriet raises £1.2m to transform HR with AI

Harriet raises £1.2m to transform HR with AI

7 Dec    Finance News, Get Funded

Harriet, the first full-stack AI solution designed to get companies’ internal data ready for the AI revolution, relieve People teams of their daily admin burden, and give every staff member their own HR assistant, has raised a £1.2m pre-seed round led by Concept Ventures and joined by Frontline Ventures, Portfolio Ventures, and Notion Capital.

Poor data management is a major blocker to the adoption of AI tools, particularly those designed to drive efficiencies for companies and their staff. Harriet is the first HR-focused AI solution created to overcome this hurdle and get companies and their data ready for AI.

Harriet starts by scanning all existing organisational policies and documents to build a picture of what’s currently in place, what’s missing, and where duplicate or conflicting information exists. It then signposts companies towards issues and helps them clean up their data – creating the right foundations for the deployment of additional AI.

Harriet then sits on top of this clean data and information to become a personal HR assistant for every employee.

Accessed via Slack and plugged into other HR tools (such as ticketing systems, HRIS’ and payroll), Harriet can book staff leave, update them on company policies, find relevant documents, source payslips, and signpost them to support services, with answers tailored to the location of a specific employee. In addition, Harriet can help with people management questions, such as providing tips on how to motivate a direct report or moderate a workshop.

This removes a daily friction point for employees, who can now receive instant support based on streamlined and accurate documentation, unlocking workforce efficiencies.

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In addition, Harriet provides an anonymous route for staff looking for company information that may be sensitive, such parental leave policies for those thinking about family planning, or information about booking bereavement leave.

Harriet also removes a large volume of distracting “micro requests” from overstretched People teams, enabling them to focus on higher-value, more meaningful actions around culture, compensation and training. This is making it possible for lean People teams (who themselves have been the subject to intensive cuts during the downturn) to continue delivering high quality employee experiences.

HR teams report that, currently, 20% of their time is spent on small, admin-based requests.

Harriet has been launched 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.

Cecily Motley, CEO of Harriet, comments: “The world is heading towards a future where every employee has an AI-powered assistant – with all the major tech players racing to build one. But companies aren’t currently set-up to reap the rewards of these advancements. And one of the main blockers to AI adoption for companies is the state of their knowledge bank. It’s a familiar story – multiple versions of policies saved in different places which are forgotten about until someone needs them. As organisations look to take advantage of AI solutions, and as teams begin to expect instant access to information and support, it’s vital to ensure tools lay the right foundations as well as unlock efficiencies. That’s why Harriet has been designed to clean up data, get companies onto the right track, and then offer the daily assistance staff and People teams are looking for.”

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“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.”

Harriet connects with a range of interfaces in a company tech stack including Google Drive, Notion, Xero, HiBob, BambooHR and Zapier, amongst others. This means, regardless of where information is stored, staff can make HR requests and source the information they need without leaving Slack.

The technology is powered by a Large Language Model, with multiple interlocking and cross-checking AIs built into the system to safeguard privacy, truthfulness and accuracy. Harriet always makes sure there is a source link for every answer, to provide assurance to employees, and all company and employee data is protected.

A team of highly experienced HR industry leaders are joining Harriet as advisors, including Jessica Zwaan, COO at Whereby, and future of work advocate Johannes Sundlo.

Oliver Kicks, Partner at Concept Ventures, who led the round, comments: “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.”

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