Digital consulting startup FORMM has raised $600,000 in pre-seed funding to help mid-sized companies ramp up their digital capabilities.
Digital strategist and former Accenture and EY Digital veteran Robert Kinkade cofounded FORMM (originally Chasm Digital) with serial entrepreneur and product engineer, Chris Clark, to help businesses “shape their digital future” and build new ventures, transform digitally and accelerate eCommerce.
The pre-seed round was backed by individual investors with significant experience leading innovation and transformational change, who have also signed on in leadership, board and advisory roles, including former banking CEO Michael Pratt, who served as NSW Treasury secretary before retiring this year.
Kinkade, the company’s CEO, said FORMM is about moving ideas to outcomes through applying a proven playbook, robust customer validation and cutting-edge technologies to advance from concept, to prototype, minimum viable product and then build/measure/learn cycles in a more agile, enjoyable and inclusive way.
“We are reimagining the delivery of consulting services to go beyond product solutions with a mission to help leaders build better businesses to survive and thrive in the digital age. Technology has advanced at an exponential rate, changing the game for every organisation on the planet,” he said.
“There’s a massive spend in traditional management consulting and digital agencies, estimated at US$2 trillion annually and yet many leaders are still at risk of being left behind. We asked ourselves, why isn’t there a smarter way to democratise access to the tools and talent needed for more of the world to prosper and make a positive impact through digital?”
Kinkade said a real use-case for FORMM’s six stage ‘idea to outcome’ playbook is building their own app for their team and talent community called ‘platFORMM’ within one week through a partnership with low code, no code technology partner, Buzzy.
The lightweight tools and elastic resourcing model allows FORMM to partner with typically underserved startups, scale-ups and existing businesses that need to digitise their operations, making the most of their time and funding by delivering working products to generate revenue and gain critical feedback from real customers much sooner.
Why a second M?
It stands for “Momentum,” Kinkade explains.
“Businesses that say they are too small or time poor to digitise are the ones who always will be. We’re here to help change that, one partnership at a time,” he said.
The FORMM leadership team includes CFO/COO Vargi Thillainathan, former CFO of Air Nuiguini and QANTAS finance exec; CPO Josh Rowe, the Realas founder, and head of product at Adore Beauty; and MD New Ventures, Jonny Harrison; and CMO Adriane McDermott, whose CV includes Greencross/Petbarn, Diageo, Seafolly, David Jones and Nike.
Other investors and Aadvisors include David Mann, who recently retired from Accenture after a 22-year career, and the deputy CDO of Deakin University, Lynn Warneke.
Thillainathan said the core team is powered by an on-demand talent community and extensive partner network who share access to a shared platFORMM of tools, resources and knowledge.
“Our operating model allows us to harness and deploy specialised skills exactly when they are needed in an integrated way,” he said.
“This way we can deliver better value through avoiding rework, shortening backlogs and by matching resources to client needs rather than the other way around.”
Michael Pratt who stepped in the chairman’s role in July, said FORMM’s service model also includes advice that brings in Silicon-valley thinking to high-growth new venture strategies including how to raise capital, secure R&D funding and create highly investable innovation.
“Digital transformation for mid-size businesses remains a critical issue in Australia with many organisations in need of affordable and simplified solutions,” he said.
“The service offering at FORMM will not only appeal to businesses but also the government sector where building better customer experiences and service models are a top priority for Australia.”
Cofounder Chris Clark said FORMM is actively recruiting other full-time team members from traditional consulting firms and agencies, as well directly from industry and startups.
Core capabilities include strategy and venture architecture, design and experience, product and engineering, and business readiness and delivery.
“FORMM appeals to leaders seeking to leapfrog the competition through innovation. They don’t want to manage multiple overlapping service providers with blurred lines of accountability and contractual latency,” he said.
“We love a challenge and work alongside our clients as if their business were one of our own.”