They say that timing is everything. Durham-based startup Peoplelogic.ai—which went live on March 17, right in the teeth of a global pandemic—might hope that’s not true.
Then again, it’s always a good time to help your employees be more productive and happy. Peoplelogic.ai is a people analytics, employee experience and performance management platform with a mission to equip companies with insights to increase performance while improving the employee experience.
The startup’s founder, Matthew Schmidt, is no stranger to pushing through economic crises while building a successful company. As a Co-Founder (and, later, President) of DZone, a software developer learning platform that launched in 2005, he helped guide the company through the financial crisis in 2008 and to a successful financial exit in 2017 to New York-based private equity firm SFW Capital Partners.
At DZone, he noted the potential use for a software service like Peoplelogic.ai. During and after the acquisition, Schmidt saw employees succeed—and some fail—in a new environment and began thinking about how to use cloud-based tools to help managers become better people-managers and leaders.
Since last August, Peoplelogic.ai has worked to introduce just that. Schmidt said Peoplelogic.ai focuses on the tools that small and medium-sized companies are already using, connecting with programs like Office 365, Google Suite, Slack or Zoom Meetings. Based on this activity, Peoplelogic.ai builds recommendations for the manager and insight into how their teams are working with personality profiles.
“We’re really the only people that are overlaying personality profiles,” Schmidt said. “And we’re doing all of this without having to send yet another survey, or yet another personality quiz or anything like that, so it’s all generated based on your text, your personality.”
Launching in a time where Covid-19 creates uncertainty in workplaces, Peoplelogic.ai can also help managers new to remote working with an integrated activity stream that shows team accomplishments.
“We’re here to really provide a platform that can put the guardrails on as you begin to transition into remote work to help make executives a bit more comfortable about understanding, how do we keep our teams from burning out because they’re working too much?” Schmidt said. “Because now they’re home, and they don’t understand work-life balance at home. We make sure that our managers in this new environment are understanding their people in a way that helps them be better leaders and keeps the performance of the company strong.”
With a SaaS freemium business model, every first team is free for Peoplelogic.ai. After that, it’s $99 for each additional team per month. The startup had already gained around 10 customers—a mix of free and paid—in the 10 or days since it launched.
For Peoplelogic.ai’s next phase, Schmidt hopes to expand on the startup’s insights engine and be able to build a tool so employees can benefit from all the data Peoplelogic.ai captures and disrupt how companies evaluate in performance reviews.
“The performance review process is broken,” Schmidt said. “But if you think about it, there’s a wealth of data that exists among the actual activity that employees and managers are doing that can give us an unbiased view around a particular person’s performance. And so we want to be able to give both the manager and the employee an unbiased perspective into their performance.”
Schmidt is realistic about the challenges of launching a new startup and product in our current all-coronavirus, all-the-time environment; it’s made it harder to get the word out, and potential costumers likely have other things calling for their immediate attention. But he’s hopeful that launching in what figures to be a time of great transition translates well to Peoplelogic.ai’s future.
“In the long term, it’s going be really beneficial for us,” Schmidt said, “because I think the transition to remote work is leading companies to have to completely rethink how they do performance management, how they do employee management, and how their teams lead.”