Autism Employer auticon raises $2.95M for North American Growth
LOS ANGELES, February 3, 2020 – auticon, a social enterprise that employs adults on the autism spectrum as technology consultants, announced today that it had received a capital investment of $2.95 million (USD) with a significant portion coming from an investor group led by Montréal-based Ferst Capital Partners. This investment will support auticon in expanding its North American footprint.
Alongside lead investor Ferst Capital Partners, this round of financing included participation from new investors based out of the US and France as well as significant commitments from existing shareholders. Ferst Capital Partners shares in auticon’s desire to employ 1,000 autistic adults – an ambitious global milestone that the company has set for itself.
Addressing the Global Tech-talent Gap
In its report “Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch,” Korn Ferry predicts North America, the world’s leading technology market, can expect to lose more than $162 billion by 2030 due to technology skill shortages. auticon is in a unique position to help solve this tech-talent gap.
Data indicates that 85% of autistic adults are unemployed or under-employed within the mainstream labor market, often despite being highly qualified. auticon taps into this potential by employing autistic adults as technology consultants. Autistic employees are supported with job coaches and project managers producing a win-win-win situation for clients, consultants, as well as society.
Autistic adults often have extraordinary cognitive abilities, such as logic, pattern recognition, precision, sustained concentration, and an ability to intuitively spot errors, yet many find it difficult to secure or maintain mainstream employment.
auticon offers exceptional quality work within the information technology industry. The company’s client services include business analytics, artificial intelligence, software development, cybersecurity, as well as quality assurance and testing. auticon provides two operating models for clients: the “remote model” where work is completed at auticon’s office locations; and the “on-site model” where the consultant works at the client office location.
North American Growth
In 2018, auticon entered the North American market with the acquisition of Los Angeles-based Mindspark, later re-branded as auticon US. In 2019, auticon opened an office in Montréal and followed quickly with the acquisition of Meticulon’s IT consulting division in Calgary. With this new funding, the company is engaged in growing new markets in the U.S that include Ohio, Utah, and Connecticut. In Canada, auticon plans to open a Toronto location early this year.
“The entire auticon team have done a wonderful job in creating sustainable career opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum while simultaneously providing valuable services to some of the biggest corporations in the world. We are looking forward to supporting them as they continue to grow in Canada and the US.” Dominique Ferst, Ferst Capital Partners
“auticon sits at the confluence of surging awareness and support for neurodiversity, acute shortages of technology talent, and most importantly, a tragically overlooked community of very specially-abled people on the autistic spectrum. auticon is a perfect storm for good!” Eric Olafson, Investor
“There is a critical shortage of people to fill a vast number of available technology jobs around the world. I welcome our new investors in addressing the opportunity and helping to place talented, qualified people on the autism spectrum in these roles.” Kurt Schöffer, Group CEO of auticon
“Our team’s ability to outperform others in roles demanding precise attention to detail, exceptional ability to focus, and above average thoroughness, is fueling our business growth across Canada. The autism advantage for business is real, measurable, and attested to by our clients.” Garth Johnson, CEO auticon (Canada)
With a high demand for data quality and flawless software development, auticon provides a neurodiverse and agile workforce to improve our client’s IT projects. Our hybrid onsite and offsite teams utilize the cognitive benefits of autism to provide the sustained concentration and analytical mindset that makes us wired for success.
Our teams include fully-trained personnel specializing in software development, data analysis, quality assurance and testing, automation engineering, and more.
auticon has international offices in Germany, United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and throughout the United Kingdom. Investors include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group Ltd., Felix and Susanne Porsche, Ananda Ventures GmbH, Ferd AS, Yabeo Capital, and Ferst Capital Partners.