Combining Big Data And Human Resources Nets Visier $25.5 Million

Continuing the growth of its software business applying big data analytics technologies to the human resources market, Visier has managed to attract $25.5 million in new financing.

The new round will help the company expand into new verticals and consolidate its position in the human resources category, according to investors and the company’s chief executive John Schwarz.

The former head of Business Objects, which was acquired by the enterprise software giant SAP in a nearly $7 billion deal, Schwarz says that Visier is the next step in the development of the HR technology that was at the core of Business Objects’ mission.

“The rationale for Visier was not being able to solve the [HR] problem for the business user,” Schwarz says. Traditionally, executives have relied on programmers to take their queries about what’s happening inside different business units and abstract those queries into specific requests that could pull the data from inside corporate archives to find relevant information.

Using Visier’s software obviates the need for abstraction. The software’s natural language processing can return information from direct queries about business processes and human resources information directly to the end-user, without having to take any additional steps.

With the new Series C investment, Visier adds Adams Street Partners to a roster of investors that already includes Summit Partners and Foundation Capital.

“If you look at the HR market, this is a very big market that’s grown very quickly,” says Mike Zappert, a principal with Adams Street Partners. “This is at least an $8 billion market. HR [software as a service] is one of the biggest spaces in SaaS today. … Our view is that it’s a very big market that’s going through a very big refresh cycle and there is a lot more opportunity for growth.”

Some of that growth will come from extending beyond the human resources sector, according to Schwarz. “Domain by domain we’ll be adding new capabilities that over time will not just describe the workforce but providing information about the work that the workforce is able to produce,” says Schwarz.

Customers include companies like Nissan Automotive, government agencies in cities around the U.S. and energy companies like Exelon Corp., as well as McGraw Hill Financial, Time Inc., Baker Hughes, and NetApp according to Schwarz.

Over the past year, the company has released two new product offerings and doubled its customer count, according to a statement. The company also nearly doubled the size of its workforce, and opened a new headquarters in San Jose.

“It’s not another one of these technologies that is going into the cloud and is optimizing query processing,” says Warren Weiss, a general partner with Foundation Capital and a member of the Visier board of directors. “You actually use English here. The company is trying to get end users to build analytical applications [using plain english] and this English gets converted into business metadata.”

For Weiss and Schwarz, the applications are limitless. “They saw this as an opportunity to reinvent the industry. This is a big play, way outside just human resources, including anything defined in the business world. They have an almost limitless set of opportunities,” says Weiss.

Photo via Flickr user Saad Faruque.