Skedulo secures $75M to manage and analyze the deskless workforce
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Skedulo, a workforce management and scheduling platform for “deskless” personnel, has raised $75 million in a series C round of funding.
Founded in 2013, San Francisco-based Skedulo enables companies that rely on a mobile workforce — such as field service personnel and home-visit health workers — to schedule, dispatch, and engage with their people on the ground through a so-called “deskless productivity cloud.”
Used by major enterprises such as Johnson & Johnson, DHL, and Vivint, Skedulo caters to the estimated 80% of the global workforce — 2.7 billion people — who don’t work from a fixed location in a traditional office setup.
The platform includes a centralized hub for scheduling jobs automatically based on pre-set parameters and real-time availability, and messaging tools to communicate with individuals wherever they are — this includes integrations with software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to host virtual meeting directly inside Skedulo.
The broader Skedulo platform also leans heavily on AI and machine learning (ML). For example, it can spot patterns of behavior such as individuals who regularly forget to update their timesheet or work order at the end of a day, and then remind them to do so proactively.
“We’ve really moved through the first chapter of helping organizations digitize processes that were analog or manual, and we’re entering the chapter of enhancing these workflows automatically,” Skedulo CEO and cofounder Matt Fairhurst told VentureBeat.
Built-in analytics also gives companies insights into their mobile workforce, including average distance traveled to a job, cancellations, missed appointment visits, and more.
Above: Skedulo: Analytics
A big part of Skedulo is its integrations, which are designed to help companies create a “seamless enterprise tech stack” by bringing Skedulo’s data into other systems, including Salesforce, ServiceNow, Workday, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, QuickBooks, and Concur.
“As enterprises move more and more toward robust, multi-platform technology strategies, they have dedicated platforms for CRM, Marketing, ERP, Finance, and so on,” Fairhurst said. “Deskless Productivity is now another critical pillar of operations, and the ability to connect and integrate across this stack is critical.”
So this means that a salesperson using a CRM tool to manage customer interactions, for example, can easily access available times for an on-site visit to install a new solar power system. Moreover, integrating Skedulo with an ERP system can help align physical installation efforts with the availability of stock and inventory required to actually carry out the installation in the post-sale phase.
“Eighty percent of the world’s workforce don’t work from behind a desk — while mobile devices have provided the medium for this workforce to become technology-equipped, a highly fragmented world of apps to enhance their working lives emerged,” Fairhurst continued. “Enterprises with deskless and front-line teams now have access to the platform that can do what Salesforce, Microsoft, ServiceNow and others have long done for the desk-based worker.”
Above: Skedulo CEO and cofounder Matt Fairhurst
Prior to now, Skedulo had raised around $39 million, including its $28 million series B round from 2019 which was led by Microsoft’s VC arm M12. Its latest cash injection, which comes just a few months after rival Connecteam raised $37 million, was spearheaded by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. With another $75 million in the bank, the company is well-positioned to capitalize on a growing push toward software that helps the distributed workforce thrive.
Indeed, while the rise of remote work has simply meant that millions of desk-based employees continue to work from a desk from their home, Fairhurst notes that the pandemic has driven an awareness of the need to serve the broader distributed workforce — including those not stationed at a desk. Digital transformation is what we’re talking about.
“Long before the pandemic, the deskless workforce has been operating outside of HQ and in a highly distributed manner,” Fairhurst explained. “Over the last 18 months, as desk-based workers have begun to experience the challenges of distributed work, there has been a heightened awareness and appreciation for technology — Zoom, Slack, and so on — that enables those workforces to operate more efficiently and to communicate more effectively with one another.”
But perhaps more than that, Fairhurst argues that the demand for deskless work has increased during this period, with in-home services, health care, and other public services surging.
“In all of these industries and more, we’ve seen example after example of workforces that have been using spreadsheets and calendars looking for new ways of driving productivity and transforming the way they work, stay safe, and engage with each other,” Fairhurst added. “For many, the pandemic has served as a catalyst for them to take their first real steps towards digital transformation and embark on a journey that will exist long into the future.”
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