WestBridge leads Series C investment in HR tech firm Phenom People

By Debjyoti Roy

  • 17 Jan 2020

Homegrown private equity firm WestBridge Capital has led a $30 million (about Rs 213 crore) round of investment in US-based human resources technology company Phenom People Inc.

A fund of American investment firm AllianceBernstein LP also participated in the funding round, Phenom People said in a statement. This is the company’s Series C round and takes the total it has raised so far to $61 million, it added.

Existing investors AXA Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Omidyar Technology Ventures, Sigma Prime Ventures and Karlani Capital also took part in the Series C round.

Phenom People said it will use the fresh capital to grow its operations.

“Their solution is transforming and progressing HR in ways that point solutions and acquired technologies do not. This matches the market direction towards experience management for talent," said Sumir Chadha, managing director at WestBridge Capital.

Philadelphia-headquartered Phenom People claims its technology platform has eased the hiring process at companies from Microsoft to Merck. The company has grown to 500 employees with over 300 customers across all industries. It has offices in Canada, India, Israel, the UK and the Netherlands.

“Global organizations are shifting their spend from legacy singular HR tools to data-driven, intelligent talent experience platforms,” said Mahe Bayireddi, CEO and co-founder at Phenom People.

The company estimates that human resources is a market worth over $400 billion, with $32 billion spent on technology solutions.

WestBridge’s bets

The PE firm invests through both direct secondary market purchases and negotiated deals. It typically invests $10-30 million each in most portfolio firms. However, it has put in around $50 million in a few companies such as Vistaar Financial, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of Mosaic Digital.

Its recent activities include increasing its stake in household appliances maker IFB Industries Ltd and selling its entire stake in publicly listed snacks maker DFM Foods Ltd to US buyout major Advent International.

Some of its noted bets in the past include tyre maker Ceat Ltd, two-wheeler maker TVS Motor, Aptus Value Housing Finance, Relaxo Footwears, Enrich Salon and La Opala.

It has also scored a few successful exits in the recent past. It exited tiles maker Cera Sanitaryware and trimmed its holding in Kajaria Ceramics with high returns. It also pocketed neat returns via a partial exit from Dr Lal PathLabs Ltd.

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