EMAILED ON October 10, 2018 BY Conor Grant

I’m Bock, baby: Laszlo takes his $40m-funded HR startup out of stealth

After nearly 2 years of behind-the-scenes development (and $40m in funding), Google’s former head of HR Laszlo Bock has finally taken his startup Humu out of stealth.

According to its website, Humu “drives behavioral change with the power of people science, machine learning — and love.” The company is one of several hot new “people science” startups offering tools to improve employee behavior.

Getting a ‘Nudge’ from love… and machine learning

Humu claims its proprietary “Nudge Engine” “increase[s] action in organizations by as much as 250%.” 

The Nudge Engine is based on the Nobel Prize-winning “nudge theory,” a concept in behavioral economics that argues a near-constant stream of subtle suggestions will encourage people to make better decisions.

Humu’s technology uses machine learning to deliver tiny suggestions designed to improve the workplace — such as reminders to thank a colleague or to hold the door open.

HR management tools are so hot right now

HR startups including Chorus, Textio, and Torch all use employee data to streamline people operations. 

But since many employees are still more partial to people than chatbots, these startups are developing these high-tech human resources as more, well, human. According to Bock, his team at Humu provides the one thing machines can’t: love.

[Disclosure: Torch has advertised with the Hustle in the past.]