HRtech Spotted Zebra has just landed €1.6 million ($1.8 million) in a new funding round as it takes on the trillion-dollar skills gap problem. The London-based team now plans to expand.
On a global level, we are facing a growing skills gap. With the speed of digital transformation continuing to pick up pace, massive changes in approaches to work, and a changing workforce demographic, it’s estimated that about 50% of all employees will need reskilling in the next few years.
In the USA, for example, there are already over 11 million job vacancies but less than 5 million unemployed. Further, looking at G20 countries, failing to address the skills gap could put trillions of dollars of GDP growth at risk – hitting our economies, livelihoods and businesses.
To address the problem, the demand for skills and skills training has ramped up in the workforce. In the modern workforce, it’s not unusual to see employees contribute value beyond the limits of their job description. Employees have to adapt, take on additional responsibilities, and extend their skills whilst in different roles.
Spotted Zebra, a London-based startup aims to help companies tap into the skills-based economy – one where skills are more valued in the workforce, rather than job titles and academic qualifications. The startup has now secured €1.6 million ($1.8 million) to expand.
The funding was led by Playfair Capital, with participation from Entrepreneur First.
Ian Monk, CEO of Spotted Zebra: “The magnitude of the skills-gap crisis is astonishing. More than half of companies around the world cannot find the skills they are looking for. Many companies are responding by adopting a new operating model for workforces; one that sees skills as the fundamental building blocks of work. But up until now, there was no coherent technology solution to support such a transition. Spotted Zebra changes that! We power skills-based organisations.”
A skills-based organisation is one that taps into the skills of their team, leveraging the experience that people have, valuing what they contribute beyond the job spec and CV. Whilst this approach is inherently optimal, it’s hard to have oversight of it. It’s challenging to have a clear picture of exactly which skills your employees have.
Spotted Zebra, founded in 2020, helps companies spot the talent they have. Its workforce management platform offers an integrated skills cloud and a suite of applications that sit across the talent lifecycle.
The skills cloud provides a common skills taxonomy that is contextualised to the organisation’s unique values and operating principles. The applications draw on this to put skills at the heart of all people decisions and currently include hiring, succession planning and employee reskilling.
Already, the company counts a number of FTSE100 companies amongst its growing list of clients. With this funding, the company plans to scale its vision of a more agile, productive, and engaged workforce.
Joe Thornton, partner at Playfair Capital: “We are excited to partner with a team that is defining a new SkillsTech category within the £30bn HR Tech space; one that puts skills at the heart of all people decisions.”