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ProFinda: "The future of work"

Artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning is slowly starting to filter into day-to-day life both on a business and personal level. ProFinda is one of a clutch of start-ups using AI to overhaul and improve the way organisations function.
Crunching data to find skills

Artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning is slowly starting to filter into day-to-day life both on a business and personal level.

ProFinda is one of a clutch of start-ups using AI to overhaul and improve the way organisations function.

Set up by Roger Gorman five and half years ago, the business uses clever software to identify and match the right skills and expertise to the right work, within a business.

Most people have a rough idea of the abilities of the close group of people they work with.

Expand that to 1,000 staff, 10,000 or 250,000 staff in the case of a multi-national and finding the right people for a project becomes a whole lot harder.

Most large knowledge-based firms function by resourcing people to projects on a daily basis, and to build and rapidly design optimal bid teams. HSBC for example has 52,000 technology staff. Accenture have over 500,000 staff all working a vast numbers of different projects and tasks. But they all lack a ‘who’ engine to help them match the right people to right work.

That’s where ProFinda can help says Gorman.

Using their engine and machine learning ProFinda can crunch disparate data sources such as timesheets, CRM insight, payroll information and other company info, Profinda matches people with required skillsets for a job.

Say you wanted a team who are French-speaking, cryptocurrency experts, then the ProFinda software has scanned available internal data sources, and can then give a dynamic list of ideal candidates in a matter of seconds.

At present, the traditional way of finding staff for a project can take weeks and even then runs the risk of coming up with the wrong people.

Without ProFinda the internal downtime in just finding staff for projects actually costs a big four accountant/consultant firm over $1bn a year, he says.

Gorman also wants to take the industry to the next level, where using something called a knowledge graph, ProFinda can match people by words cropping up in emails and many companies sources. So where talented people, working on complimentary bitcoin projects, for example, might have used associate terms/words inside emails c. 200 times.

So, now, having immediate visibility of the optimal talent from the organisations total talent pool is a huge deal for firms. The collective enterprise include their internal teams, freelancers, alumni etc. In this way will be invaluable in future for an organisation, believes Gorman.

At present, the company has around 35 customers but the aim is to increase that number significantly through growing the sales team across the US, and also the use of ‘channel partners’.

Payroll companies such as US giant ADP and software groups like Oracle, Workday and SAP’s Success Factors, for example, both work with thousands of companies. If just a fraction of these became channel partners with ProFinda, that would be a significant step-up.

The company raised £4.8m in January through a funding round including Notion Capital, Nextlaw Ventures and high net worth investors.

“By year 5 if we secure 350 customers, our revenues will sit well over $100m ARR.” Gorman claims, adding “and there is no ceiling to what it is doing because the market for our platform is far greater than just large multinationals. Think about Governments, NGOs, communities, alumni, networks, SMEs etc etc.

“I think what’s also so exciting is we’re not just a tech company, we are an adviser on the future of work. We’re helping design and shape the future of work.”

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