Whoz raises € 25 million for its ontology of skills

by Philippe Guerrier | the | talent management

Based on an ontology of skills and AI, Whoz allows you to allocate the necessary HR resources to projects or missions within ESN or consulting and engineering companies. The point with Jean-Philippe Couturier, CEO and co-founder of Whoz.

Personnel solution: Jean-Philippe Couturier, CEO of Whoz, raises € 25 million – © DR

According to chiz, staff increased in the consulting, engineering and IT sectors against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis. The provider of a dedicated solution in SaaS mode has just concluded a fundraising of 25 million euros with the European branch of the American fund PSG Equity.

A first in terms of funding for the Parisian technology company BizNet.io, which manages the Whoz platform and whose creation dates back to 2016.

In addition to financial resources, Whoz will soon also take out a loan of 5 million euros.

So far, to fuel its self-financing, it has relied on:

  • the initial contribution of 21 people with the triple profile of expert, shareholder and operational employee of the technology company,
  • the turnover generated in 6 years of activity,
  • the Bpifrance competition.

In particular, it has invested 10 million euros in research and development to develop a cloud platform that covers a broad scope of the staffing process:

  • mapping of skills,
  • team building,
  • program management,
  • detecting trends in skills shortages (to refine recruitment and training plans).

Whoz wants to align its expansion with the main technology services markets

Distributed in fifty countries through ESN clients (such as Devoteam, Egis, Open or Econocom) and large project companies (such as Engie or Thales), the Whoz platform is also aimed at consulting and auditing companies, study and engineering offices and CIO of large companies.

Lists 30,000 active users identified for 50 client organizations. And this, in the context of 55,000 assignments for which it is necessary to optimize the allocation of HR resources.

Whoz intends to more than double the size of its workforce from 50 to 110 employees by the end of 2022 to fill various positions or functions (R&D, marketing and sales, customer relations).

It also has international ambitions following the compass of the technology services markets:

  • India,
  • but also Europe (Germany, United Kingdom…).

R&D: the ontology of skills at the heart of R&D

In terms of research and development, artificial intelligence is used to enrich an ontology of skills shared by all our customers in the IT fields (SecDevOps, FinOps, Scrum Master for example) but also in consulting and engineering and large organizations (banking, insurance, defense, etc.). The skills tree approach, which was considered obsolete, was discarded.
“By using neural networks and a graph to link skills together, ontology allows us to be more efficient and reliable in defining the mapping of skills and the search for talent. Today we have 4 million skills referenced by our customers and we continue to delve into this ontology. We are able to bring skills closer and avoid overly brutal segmentation defined by skill trees says Jean-Philippe Couturier, CEO and co-founder of Whoz.
This is the heart of the research to refine the relevance of the Whoz platform behind which thirty technologies are combined. IA obliges, many datasets and algorithms are used.

A transversal vision of skills for the optimization of human resources

“Over the past decade we have seen a sharp acceleration in terms of skills obsolescence and the creation of new skills.

The staff becomes:

  • more agile following the Scrum methodologies with the mobilization of experts for missions that last from a few days to a few weeks.
  • more global thanks to teleworking and remote collaborative work,
  • ultimately more complex.

A cross-functional vision is needed to guarantee the skills of employees and their availability and to go through the increasingly necessary retraining. In addition to HRD, managers and project managers, employees can also use the platform by fulfilling their training aspirations individually or by “liking” their favorite projects “explains Jean-Philippe Couturier.

“Whoz can be a standalone competency mapping product, but most large customers often choose to connect it to their HRIS. This is not a problem for us with our API approach. ”

The economic model is based on a monthly, annual or multi-year subscription system that takes into account the use of the platform by “advanced users” (HR, Resource Manager, DSI, etc.).

In terms of frontal competition, Whoz faces:

  • to American platforms such as Mavenlink which approaches the market through project management,
  • to players positioned on part of its global coverage such as skills mapping with 365Talents, for example.

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