Why ServiceNow invested in a fellow HR tech provider, plus a new way to measure health risks

HCM solution provider ServiceNow invested an undisclosed sum in 15Five, the performance management firm, which adds to the $52 million the latter company announced it raised last July. 

This is the first investment in the talent technology space for ServiceNow Ventures, which is the investment arm of ServiceNow, and the new funds will fuel 15Five’s product development for what 15Five calls a “holistic” performance management platform and integrated manager training and coaching services.

- Advertisement -

According to analyst and HRE columnist Josh Bersin, ServiceNow’s investment highlights the growing push for innovation in the talent market. 

“15Five is a very successful performance management and development platform company, founded around the idea that best management is done by teams, not HR processes,” Bersin tells HRE

“ServiceNow wants to build an ecosystem of talent applications in their employee experience platform, so I would expect that this investment brings 15Five closer to ServiceNow for product integration, reseller opportunities and possibly an eventual acquisition,” adds Bersin, who will be a keynote speaker at the 2023 HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2. 

Why wouldn’t ServiceNow simply buy 15Five now? Bersin says that a purchase would put ServiceNow into direct competition with its stable of partners. Instead, this investment could pave the way for further partnerships.

“I would expect that this is a ‘first step’ and gives the companies options to get closer over time,” he says. “It also will encourage 15Five to build a very ‘ServiceNow-enabled’ version of its product.”

For ServiceNow, the investment strengthens its HR technology mission. “We are more committed than ever to supporting the evolving relationship between manager and employee and finding ways to drive productivity across an enterprise, which is central to an organization’s success,” said Melanie Lougee, head of employee workflows strategy at ServiceNow, in a news release.

15Five counts Spotify, HubSpot, Pendo and Credit Karma as clients. 

People moves

Data science platform provider Anaconda promoted former HR head Jessica Reeves to the chief operating officer role. Reeves joined Anaconda in 2017 as vice president of global HR and became the senior vice president of operations in 2020. In her six-year tenure, Reeves has supported HR, recruiting, legal, sales and customer-facing functions while promoting company culture for Anaconda’s remote workforce. Over the last year, Anaconda has nearly doubled its employee count to more than 300 and it plans to continue hiring next year. “I’m excited to take this next step in my career with Anaconda and play an even more involved role in making this company thrive,” said Reeves in a news release. 

- Advertisement -

Financial technology solution provider Brex has named Angela Crossman as its chief people officer. In this role, she will lead the company’s worldwide people organization. Crossman was most recently CPO at wellness startup Noom and, before that, she worked at Yahoo! and Bain & Company in a variety of people and operations roles. “Brex wouldn’t be where it is today without our employees and we’re thrilled to have Angela come in to foster an environment that helps them feel connected, supported and set up to do the best work of their careers,” said Henrique Dubugras, Brex’s co-founder and co-CEO, in a news release. 

New products and updated solutions

Alight added a global payroll solution to Alight Worklife, its employee experience platform. The new solution provides in-country payroll platforms that cover more than 180 countries and 25 languages. By simplifying global payroll, the expanded cloud-based platform allows decision-makers to optimize costs, uncover trends and make better informed decisions, according to a news release. “Multinational companies face considerable complexity in managing global payroll, and having a partner that can standardize and simplify across a comprehensive breadth of countries is indispensable,” said Cesar Jelvez, Alight’s chief professional services and global payroll officer. Alight counts staffing company Kelly Services and global IT provider Kongsberg as clients. 

Global advisory WTW expanded its Health & Benefits Scout tool with two new models that focus on the external risks that can have an impact on employee health. The Scout Social Determinants of Health model (SDoH) identifies the economic, social and clinical resources that families need based on where they live in the U.S., while the Scout Climate model focuses on regions where agricultural and construction workers experience a high number of days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “The impact of heat stress, drought and flood are just some of the challenges facing employees today,” said Drew Hodgson, WTW’s National Health Care Delivery leader, in a news release. “The Scout tool can help employers identify the HR and benefits strategies needed to address these issues, for both their physical and mental wellbeing.”


Startup health benefits provider Pebble officially launched on Dec. 7 after raising $12 million in its $17 million seed round efforts. The new AI company also completed an invitation-only beta pilot program for its solution that builds employee benefit plans, health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts for small companies eager to provide benefits like those of much larger companies. For example, Pebble supports mental health and fertility coverage that typically cannot be negotiated in a company’s package with a single carrier. “With Pebble, startups can compete with any company out there on benefits, which makes them more competitive in the battle for talent at very little cost or hassle to themselves,” said Manoj Pinna, co-founder and CEO of Pebble, in a news release. 

Registration is open for the HR Tech Virtual Conference from Feb. 28 to March 2. Register here

Phil Albinus
Phil Albinus is the former HR Tech Editor for HRE. He has been covering personal and business technology for 25 years and has served as editor and executive editor for a number of financial services, trading technology and employee benefits titles. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and lives in the Hudson Valley with his audiologist wife and three adult children.