Genie closes second funding round to accelerate post-covid employment tech.
GENIE, an automated talent agent for the creative industry, has announced the closing of its second funding round, led by female led corporate advisor, Adelpha, taking their total funding to-date to £1.75m. GENIE also announced advertising industry legend, Sir John Hegarty as Chairman, as the team look to disrupt the ways companies hire talent in the post-COVID world.
Pre-COVID, the UK was home to over 2 million freelance workers, with workforces becoming increasingly distributed. As COVID-19 has dramatically re-shaped our understanding of work and our relationship to the office, this decentralisation has been accelerated – with employers facing new logistical challenges and freelancers facing significant security anxieties. Employers previously wanted to own the talent, but are now realising that fast access to the right people should be their top priority.
Designed, initially, for a creative industry renowned for discerning tastemakers, GENIE communicates with humour and humility, treating people like human beings by learning the user’s likes and dislikes, and builds a 1-2-1 relationship. Against a backdrop of existing recruitment platforms that are robotic, treat talent like commodities and offer overwhelming choice for Clients – GENIE shows how personality can be built into technology to create a more emotive, genuine experience.
GENIE’s Co-founders bring expertise from the top of the creative sector and have now built a platform to address the problems they observed. Nicky Badenoch spent years working on projects for the likes of LEGO and BBC, including launching BBC iPlayer, whilst Nick Grime has been at the heart of matching talent in the creative industries for two decades, including shaping the management teams of a number of the world’s leading advertising agencies. The pair were partners at the boutique headhunting business LIZH, where they both perfected the arts of being headhunters that cared about the people behind creativity. It was here that the ideas behind GENIE were born.
GENIE was built from the ground up with an OpenAPI microservice architecture, ensuring the ability to integrate with, and adapt to, any industry. She paves the way for much more easily-managed, talent-oriented and output-focused relationships between talent and companies across all industries.
GENIE matches hiring companies to top industry talent through a proprietary machine learning algorithm working in tandem with deep sector insight. The entire process is handled by a messaging service with GENIE, who liaises with both parties. Her matching algorithm matches talent to a project, whilst she gathers live data on interest and availability, and enables companies to make a booking in an instant – whilst also sorting all the paperwork. GENIE’s fastest ever booking was made in just 7 minutes – where a brief was sent, results sent back, and talent booked. She currently counts global companies including Philips, Warner Music Group and Saatchi & Saatchi amongst her clientele.
Sir Hegarty joins the business to guide the launch of a subscription SaaS platform, coming later this year, which will allow corporates greater power to access the right talent at the right moment from GENIE’s talent networks. GENIE currently offers companies access to best-in-class talent on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Sir John Hegarty, Chairman, GENIE, commented:“Over the last 20 years the creative industries have undergone seismic change. Part of that change is the growth in freelance – allowing companies and individuals to work faster, smarter and more efficiently. Accessing that talent with speed and effectiveness is vital. GENIE is the answer. Their technology and years of experience deliver best-in-class creative talent. Serving both creative ambition and business growth.
The companies, across all industries, that win the future are going to be those that can access the finest talent, faster and more efficiently than their competitors. That’s why I’m delighted to be their chairman.”
Stephen Reekie, Chief Technology Officer, GENIE, commented:“GENIE brings together, across our platform, a unique combination of both technology and the domain experience and knowledge of our founders. This blending of human intelligence, artificial intelligence and deep understanding of the creative industry is now available on the phones and browsers of our customers. With constantly learning and continually improving matching algorithms GENIE delivers an unrivalled quality of available and engaged talent faster than ever previously possible.”
This article was originally published in Startups Magazine on 16th April 2021.