Unleashing the potential of the extended workforce. Why we invested in Utmost.

Published on
July 1, 2021
Toby Coppel
Unleashing the potential of the extended workforce. Why we invested in Utmost.

We are living through a fundamental shift in the structure of work: the rise of the non-employee. Enterprises are increasingly reliant on the ‘extended workforce’: freelancers, contractors, consultants, and temporary workers sourced via staffing agencies. The benefits are self-evident, as organisations enjoy access to more flexible, diverse talent pools. But this presents new challenges: how do you manage an increasingly heterogeneous workforce in a unified, holistic way?

Enter Utmost – which is creating a new category of software to manage the total extended workforce.

The market. Ten years ago, ~20% of the average enterprise consisted of non-employee or ‘contingent’ workers. That figure has more than doubled to 43% – with global spend on non-employee work in the trillions of dollars. Software to manage the extended workforce is a growing but fragmented market – largely consisting of legacy vendor management systems (VMSs), distributed in partnership with staffing agencies. We believe that Utmost can not only eat this existing market, but also dominate adjacent ones – and hence is addressing a market worth at least $10B. 

The problem. Organisations have to contend with the task of procuring, onboarding, paying, and managing the extended workforce – but do not have the means to do this in a consistent, standardised way. They suffer from incomplete visibility of their overall workforce, and use disparate systems / processes for different types of workers. This becomes increasingly operationally painful as the extended workforce grows. Historically, this problem has not been well served by software. Traditional VMSs (e.g. SAP Fieldglass and Beeline) have been the workhorses for tracking contingent workforces – but they have been limited to temporary workers deployed from staffing suppliers / managed services providers, leaving much of the extended workforce unseen. 

The solution. Utmost helps enterprises gain full visibility of their extended workforces, and offers a single solution in which to manage them. Unlike incumbent solutions, Utmost provides an elegant, cloud-native system for managing all non-employee human capital. In the first instance, this displaces the legacy VMS category. In the medium term, Utmost aims to lead the growing adjacent markets for extended workers (i.e. private talent pools and direct sourcing). The long-term vision is to expand beyond pure-play SaaS, and create the dominant global network of extended workers.

Relative to its competitors, Utmost is unique in its vision of creating a solution for managing the total extended workforce. Its product outclasses incumbent VMSs in terms of feature breadth, workflow, UX – and enjoys an unfair distribution advantage via its tight coupling with Workday (which today reports >8k customers).

The team. Utmost is led by a highly experienced team of senior SaaS leaders from Workday and other blue-chip organisations. Annrai, Dan, and Paddy are the perfect team to win in this emerging category, given their deep command of the market and their proven expertise in SaaS execution. 

The bottom line. Utmost has all the ingredients to win this emerging category of total extended workforce management – so it’s an honour to partner with Annrai, Dan, Paddy, and the Utmost team in their Series B financing, alongside our friends at Greylock Partners and Workday Ventures. We’re thrilled to be on board for the next chapter of growth.