As we move through life in the pandemic, companies are being forced to review and understand how workflows happen. How do you distribute laptops to your workforce? How do you make sure everyone has the correct tool set? FortressIQ, a startup that wants to help companies use data to understand and improve internal processes, announced a $30 million Series B investment today.
M12, Microsoft’s venture fund and Tiger Global Management led the round with help from previous investors Boldstart Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Eniac Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has now raised almost $65 million, according to Pitchbook data.
As the product has matured, founder and CEO Pankaj Chowdhry, says its focus has shifted a bit. Whereas before it was primarily about using computer vision to understand workflows, customers are now using that data to help drive their own internal transformations.
That used to require a high priced consulting team to pull off, but FortressIQ is trying to use software, data and artificial intelligence to replace the consultant and expose processes that could be improved.
“We’re building this kind of cool computer vision to help with process discovery, mostly in the automation space to help you automate processes. But what we’ve seen is people leveraging our data to drive transformation strategies, of which automation ends up being a pretty small component,” Chowdry explained.
He said that this is helping define new ways of using the tool they hadn’t considered when they first started the company. “If you think about it, we can use analytics to drive better experiences, better training, all of that. We’ve seen how customers are driving overall improvement strategies by leveraging the data coming out of this system,” he said.
The company currently has 65 employees, but he couldn’t commit to a future number at this point because of the uncertainty that exists in the economy. He knows he wants to hire, but he’s not sure what that will look like. He said they used to revisit hiring every six months. Now it’s ever six weeks, and so they keep having to reevaluate based on an ever-shifting set of conditions.
Chowdry believes that companies will need to be more agile moving forward to react more quickly to changing circumstances beyond the current crisis, and he thinks that’s going to require solid business relationships to pull off.
“I think the idea is to be leveraging this time to build that relationship with your customers so as they do start looking at what are they going to do and where they need to be invested in the business, that we’ve got both the data and the infrastructure to help them do that.”