Forecast, a platform and startup of the same name that uses AI to help with project management and resource planning put simply, it uses artificial intelligence to both “read” and integrate data from different enterprise applications in order to build a bigger picture of the project and potential outcomes has raised $19 million to continue building out its business.
The company plans to use some of the funding to expand to the U.S., and some to continue building out its platform and business, headquartered in London with a development office also in Copenhagen.
This funding, a Series A, comes less than a year after the startup’s commercial launch, and it was led by Balderton Capital, with previous investors Crane Ventures Partners, SEED Capital and Heartcore also participating.
Forecast closed a seed round in November 2019 and then launched just as the pandemic was kicking off. It was a time when some projects were indeed put on ice, but others that went ahead did so with more caution on all sorts of fronts financial, organizational, and technical. It turned out to be a “right place, right time” moment for Forecast, a tool that plays directly into providing a technical platform to manage all of that in a better way, and it tripled revenues during the year. Its customers include the likes of the NHS, the Red Cross, Etain and more. It says over 150,000 projects have been created and run through its platform to date.
That became the impetus for trying to build something that can take all of that into account and make a project management tool that rather than just being a way of accounting to a higher-up, or reflecting only what someone can be bothered to update in the system something that can help a team.
“Connecting everything into our engine, we leverage data to understand what they are working on and what is the right thing to be working on, what the finances are looking like,” he continued. “So if you work in product, you can plan out who is where, and what resourcing you need, what kind of people and skills you require.” This is a more dynamic progression of some of the other newer tools that are being used for project management today, targeting, in his words, “people who graduate from Monday and Asana who need something ore robust, either because they have too many people working on a project or because its too complicated, there is just too much stuff to handle.”
More legacy tools he said that are used include Oracle “to some degree” and Mavenlink, which he describes as possibly Forecast’s closest competitor, “but its platform is aging.”
Currently the Forecast platform has some 26 integrations of popular tools used for projects to produce its insights and intelligence, including Salesforce, Gitlab, Google Calendar, and, as it happens, Asana. But given how fragmented the market is, and the signals one might gain from any number of other resources and apps, I suspect that this list will grow as and when its customers need more supported, or Forecast works out what can be gleaned from different places to paint an even more accurate picture.