FriarTuck raises US$3.6mil in Series A financing
By Digital News Asia September 12, 2018
- Round was led by Philips and Seeds Capital
- Hosted, pay-as-you-go model makes workforce optimisation significantly more affordable
FRIARTUCK, a provider of AI based workforce optimisation solutions, announced the completion of its S$5 Million (US$3.6 million) Series A round of financing from Philips and Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore.
The funding will fuel the company's next stage of product development, strategic investments in deep technology, talent acquisition, and regional expansion in Southeast Asia.
"Today's CEOs think about building a lean, agile and flexible workforce," said Alan Sevugan (pic, right), who is the founder and CEO of FriarTuck, "and they want solutions that can predict the future labour demand, optimise the scheduling of workforce and dynamically redeploy the workforce in real-time based on unplanned events to realise that vision."
Sevugan has brought together a team of optimisation engineers, data scientists and seasoned enterprise software technologists who share this mindset.
The reason that FriarTuck’s WorkforceOptimiser makes this vision a reality, Sevugan explained, is that its software is designed to take advantage of AI and mathematical optimisation technologies that enable much more sophisticated and intelligent support in decision-making. As a result, workforce management improves employee productivity and quality of service when compared to previous-generation technologies.
In many countries, healthcare bills are rising sharply for both patients and the government. Singapore plans to spend S$10.2 billion on healthcare this year – more than double the figure in 2010 (S$3.9 billion). As its population ages, Singapore is putting greater focus on healthcare innovation, and reconsidering how it approaches healthcare management.
WorkforceOptimiser’s value for healthcare lies in its ability to parse through and analyse millions of data points and possible outcomes to optimise the use of its scarce resources.
“We are proud to partner Seeds Capital in championing startups that deliver meaningful solutions to the healthcare industry. The aging demographics is putting a strain on healthcare systems so there is a critical need to address issues, such as productivity of healthcare professionals and workflow efficiency, through innovations such as FriarTuck’s optimisation platform. This approach also reflects Philips’ transformation in shifting our focus towards digital technology to transform the delivery of care across the health continuum,” said Philips Singapore country manager Ivy Lai.
Seeds Capital has been an early-stage investor in FriarTuck, supporting its development from a research entity at the National University of Singapore (NUS) into a commercial entity. Some of its early customers included the US National Aeronautics & Space Agency (Nasa) and National University Hospital (NUH).
The technology for FriarTuck began its life within the NUS School of Computing and Faculty of Engineering. NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS, was one of the early partners that provided incubation support to FriarTuck, including help to license the technology and raise funds.
Enterprise Singapore, the government agency championing enterprise development, also supported FriarTuck in building stronger capabilities for its product development. It is working with FriarTuck to go beyond their core focus in healthcare and expand into other sectors such as Food and Retail.
“FriarTuck’s AI-based optimisation solutions contribute to better productivity and efficiency for the healthcare industry, addressing its crunch in specialised manpower. This is in line with our mission to catalyse strategic investments into emerging sectors such as healthcare. We look forward to backing more local, innovative and deep tech startups in meeting evolving demands in the global markets,” said Seeds Capital general manager Geoffrey Yeo.
"Products on the market today are also geared towards larger organisations with deep pockets and sizable IT departments, which are simply out of reach for most companies," Sevugan added. One benefit of WorkforceOptimiser is that its hosted, pay-as-you-go model makes workforce optimisation significantly more affordable.
This is an important point for both cost-cutting global enterprises and for other companies that were previously underserved by workforce optimisation software.
"We build WorkforceOptimiser so that large and mid-sized organisations alike can enjoy the benefits of AI, mathematical optimisation and workforce analytics solution that enables them to manage their workforce for optimal productivity," said Alan.
FriarTuck serves a range of industries like healthcare, retail and public sector that share a common need for reliable and efficient workforce optimisation solutions.
In healthcare, FriarTuck not only optimises workforce planning across nursing, clinicians, ancillary and allied health, but also resource planning and appointment scheduling across treatment units like operating theatres, catheterization labs, diagnostic imaging and endoscopy.
FriarTuck also provides long term and home care organisations with an integrated and automated real-time scheduling solution that optimises caregiver (nurses, doctors and therapists) resources, increases productivity and revenue while decreasing travel, administration and call centre costs.
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