An expat Queenslander who found his fortune building HR data analytics startup One Model in the US has scored funding from the state government-backed QIC as part of a US$41 million (A$64m) Series B.
The investment will see HR Data and Analytics expert Chris Butler, who grew up in Brisbane, studied IT and software engineering at Griffith University and 20 years ago, was running a Great Barrier Reef cruising company, ramp up the AI software company’s presence in the Queensland capital.
Butler relocated to the US in 2007 and cofounded One Model in Austin, Texas, eight years ago, taking it through the Techstars program in 2015.
One Model helps global brands integrate AI to analyse workforce data and unlock value in their people and organisations.
The Series B was led by Riverwood Capital alongside QIC, AV8 and Geekdom and will be used to accelerate the startup’s product development roadmap
Butler, One Model’s CEO, said their success wouldn’t have been possible without their commitment to Queensland-based engineering and operations talent.
“As early as 2015, we invested heavily in our Brisbane-based research, development, and engineering operation and have considerably expanded our investments since then,” he said.
“That commitment to Queensland-based talent is the reason One Model can offer a world-class technology platform that is winning accolades in the global market.”
The Queenslander said they have the most capable people analytics solution in the market and the new funding will allow them to advance faster and create ever more value for customers.
“One Model’s people analytics product roadmap will be expanded to solve problems for a diverse array of data science, analyst, people manager and C-level audiences, delivering tailored content proactively through alerts, notifications and individualised reporting,” he said.
“This capital will allow us to maintain our growth trajectory and remain the innovation leader of the people analytics domain. My cofounders, David Wilson, Matthew Wilton, and I, share a career-long passion for democratising people data insights at scale in large organisations. We’ve made it our life’s mission to provide all decision-makers with the most reliable, impactful, predictive, and ethical insights possible.”
The business has two core technology solutions: People Data Cloud, a workforce data orchestration platform, which allows organisations to use their data for actionable insights, and make data-informed decisions; and One AI, which uses machine learning to generate ethical, explainable AI-generated insights for employers.
QIC Private Equity Investment Director Nick Capell said the investment from their $100 million Business Investment Fund will help them grow their local engineering and product development teams.
“As businesses around the world continue to seek better insights into employee engagement and output, One Model’s extraction and analytical capabilities offer the perfect solution for synthesising data across a wide range of siloed HRIS platforms,” he said.
“With a demonstrated ability to continuously develop its product suite to expand their customer value proposition, the team is primed for accelerated growth with a pipeline of opportunities.
QIC (previously known as the Queensland Investment Corporation) is the first Australian VC to back One Model.
“To see them position the Brisbane office as the heart of their engineering functions is testament to the talent pool here,” Capell said.