Imagine knowing exactly and quantifiably which of your staff worked best together, being able to automate rota scheduling and use machine learning to train that process; taking into account a range of business needs, external data and staff working preferences.
That’s the vision of former A&E doctor Chris McCullough, the CEO of London-based startup Rotageek, which just closed a £4 million Series A funding round.
His company tripled in size last year and now has some 24 members of staff in London, with a further eight in Melbourne, Australia; along with a client list that includes O2, William Hill and High Street chain The Perfume Shop.
Greg Blin, who led the deal for Mobeus Equity Partners, said: “We identified the workforce management sector as a significant and growing, yet highly fragmented market that has had little innovation.”
“Many businesses still adopt labour-intensive, time-consuming, manual processes, which do not provide staffing metrics. Rotageek provides a technology-driven solution with the potential to disrupt that market.”
Rotageek: Born in an A&E Department
CEO Chris McCullough told Computer Business Review that the company’s genesis came nine years ago when he was working in an A&E ward and struggling with the perennial headache of juggling chaotic paper-based staff rotas.
The 44-year-old said: “The retail sector, to name one example, has a lot of similarities with the medical sector in terms of staffing. They’re both boxes into which people float in waves, which often still staffed on gut-feel.”
He added: “What our software does is allow you to take – ideally – four years of historical business data to train our algorithms on. You can take transactions as a surrogate for demand; see which teams were most efficient and schedule rotas in the optimum way, taking into account the weather, school holidays, you name it; that allows you to spot patterns you might otherwise miss.”
Do most clients have that kind of data to hand?
“Some customers do say ‘Hold on! We still have everything on paper only’ but in the past two to three years I think there’s been a sea change in terms of recognition that data can be put to really effective use. This isn’t just good for business; it’s good for staff, as Rotageek allows their preferences to be input.”
The company’s team of data scientists includes a former quantum physicist and the funding will be used to augment their work, as well as building out Rotageek’s sales team to ensure greater reach and smoother onboarding, the company told Computer Business Review.