Utmost raises $21m for its ‘extended workforce’ platform

5 May 2021

Utmost founders Dan Beck, Annrai O'Toole and Paddy Benson. Image: Utmost

The start-up founded in Dublin by Annrai O’Toole plans to use the funds to deepen its presence in the US and Europe.

Utmost, the company co-founded by Irish tech veteran Annrai O’Toole, has raised $21m in a Series B round.

The outfit builds software for managing personnel that aren’t traditional employees, such as freelancers, contractors and vendors, or the ‘extended workforce’. It has bases in Dublin and San Francisco.

The round was led by Mosaic Ventures, with new backers Acadian Ventures and Alumni Ventures Group and existing investors Greylock Partners and Workday Ventures joining the investment. Utmost previously raised $11.2m in Series A funding in 2019.

Utmost develops the Utmost Extended Workforce System that helps companies maintain a bird’s-eye view of the different moving parts in their organisation. This could include the onboarding of vendors providing services on a temporary basis or contractors or consultants that come in more frequently.

The start-up was founded in 2018 and since the pandemic has seen an accelerated demand for its product as companies find themselves managing disparate work flows.

O’Toole, formerly of Iona Technologies and Cape Clear, is joined by co-founders Paddy Benson, former CTO of Groupon, and Dan Beck, a former senior-vice president at Workday.

The start-up has strong links to Workday – Cape Clear was acquired by the US company before O’Toole struck out to start Utmost, which integrates with Workday’s services.

It said it plans to invest the fresh funds in further product development and deepening its presence in the European and North American markets.

“We feel we are on the right side of history in terms of our focus on the extended workforce,” O’Toole said in a statement.

“We are starting to replace 20-year-old vendor management systems with a cloud-native, worker-friendly, enterprise-ready extended workforce system to enable our customers to manage their total workforce. This funding is an important milestone on our journey to make even more customers successful,” he said.

Toby Coppel, partner at lead investor Mosaic Ventures, said that freelancers, contractors and staffing agencies have created “one of the most fundamental shifts in the structure of work” in the last decade.

“This rising diversity calls for a new way of managing the organisation holistically. We believe that Utmost will be a category-defining provider of software to manage the extended workforce,” he said.

Some of Utmost’s clients include Ecolab, NortonLifeLock and Colonial Life.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin