How this Seattle startup is helping shift HR diversity efforts from ‘touchy-feely’ to data driven


Co-Founders, left to right: Chandan Golla, Laura Close and Raghu Gollamudi. (Photo included)

The news: The Seattle startup has raised a pre-seed round of $ 1.9 million from FlyingFish, SignalFire and Ascend.

Entering data in DEI: Following the assassination of George Floyd, companies across the country made a commitment to better serve racial and ethnic diversity throughout their business operations. Our own employees, customers and supervisory authorities have also called for measurable improvements. But companies often struggle to achieve these goals.

It includes offering a possible solution. The startup aims to incorporate data into every aspect of Diversity, Justice and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, from the hiring process to retention and promotions to compensation to an overall inclusion score for a company.

“The history of the whole area has been very sensitive and therefore everything we do is 100% data-driven and data-driven,” said Laura Close, Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer.

“So when we talk about inclusivity, we are no longer talking about workshops or training courses – although we support companies that choose this tactic and enable this via our platform – but we deliver data-based measurements so that companies can make decisions and strategies.”

Founder: CEO and co-founder Raghu Gollamudi founded Integris Software, a data protection technology company, in 2016, where he was Chief Technology Officer. Atlanta-based OneTrust Data Discovery acquired Integris last year for an undisclosed amount. At the beginning of his career, Gollamudi was senior development manager at Microsoft for nine years.

The history of the entire space has been very sensitive and so everything we do is 100% data based and data driven.

Chandan Golla, Third Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Included, was Vice President of Products at Integris and worked for eBay for more than a decade.

Enge worked with Gollamudi as his executive coach and her background includes career counseling and working with work organizations.

Has included 15 employees and contractors and expects that number to double in the coming year.

The technology: The included platform can extract and analyze employee information from existing HR tools that a company uses to provide DEI statistics and initiate corrective action. In the hiring process, the platform can, for example, evaluate the overall diversity of a candidate pool and the interview panel. If the board does not have a balanced representation, Included suggests other employees to trade in in real time.

Included has initially focused on recruiting and will add more HR areas in the coming months.

Costs: Companies with 200 to 800 employees pay an annual fee of $ 5,000 per year. The cost for companies with 1,500 or more employees starts at $ 10,000.

Customers: Including started in January. Customers so far include six tech startups, including Amperity, Remitly and Nintex. The company aims to have 100 customers by the end of 2022. The target market are companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees.

Employees as customers: The current brain drain – known as “great resignation” – is causing employers to reconsider their treatment of workers.

Gollamudi said one solution is to treat employees more like customers and divide them into groups based not only on title and salary but also based on their diversity characteristics. The segmentation enables a company to better recognize the needs of its employees in the DEI landscape and to respond to them. Included is a tool that can help with this work, he said.

Competition: Large companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and others have in-house HR teams dealing with DEI – but are still plagued with lawsuits and allegations of discrimination. Now there is a growing interest in external DEI technology, as reported by GeekWire. Others in this area are the Seattle area’s Diversity Window.