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Slack-based HR assistant Harriet launches with £1.2m fundraise

Harriet co-founders Harriet co-founders Cecily Motley and David Buxton

Harriet, an AI tool designed to automate human resources (HR) processes, has launched today backed by a £1.2m funding round.

The London-based team has developed an AI assistant that can be incorporated directly into companies’ Slack channels that provides HR services.

The machine learning tool scans users’ data as well as its policies and best practice recommendations. It can then pull up information like payslips upon request, book time off and answer HR-related questions. Users can also integrate existing HR systems and tools into Harriet.

The company said Slack messages to Harriet from employees are anonymous and the tool does not store employee data for training.

If the AI assistant is not able to sufficiently deal with a situation, it can loop in a human HR worker if granted permission by the employee.

“The world is heading towards a future where every employee has an AI-powered assistant – with all the major tech players racing to build one. But companies aren’t currently set up to reap the rewards of these advancements,” said Harriet co-founder Cecily Motley.

Motley said one of the biggest roadblocks for AI adoption within companies is “the state of their knowledge bank”, which she says are commonly clogged up with “multiple versions of policies saved in different places”.

“As organisations look to take advantage of AI solutions, and as teams begin to expect instant access to information and support, it’s vital to ensure tools lay the right foundations as well as unlock efficiencies,” Motley added.

The Harriet AI assistant officially went live on Thursday, alongside the announcement of the funding round led by Concept Ventures.

Notion Capital, Frontline Ventures and Portfolio Ventures also participated in the funding round.