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Technology companies tend to focus exclusively on improving their customers’ experience thanks to their software and services, but they tend to neglect an essential sector: their own workers.
With the rise of telecommuting, many employees have found themselves adrift in an online world they were not used to, with numerous connection and management problems.
Nexthink, a unicorn startup with a Spanish heart, was born from the idea of anticipating this situation and offering a much more productive experience to workers.
A Spanish founder who is focused on large companies
From Soria to Boston, passing through Zaragoza and Switzerland, this has been the journey of Pedro Bados, a telecommunications engineer who has managed to take his company, Nexthink, to the top.
During his period as a researcher in the city of Lausanne in Switzerland, Bados managed to invent a technology that did not exist until then, one capable of improving the digital experience of employees, solving their problems in minutes, instead of days.
Founded in 2004, Nexthink is mainly focused on large companies with more than 5,000 employees, as they have thousands of applications with thousands of configurations for which thousands of different devices are needed, so there lies a greater need for attention and organization.
“To solve these setbacks the key is to be aware of the problems that employees may have in real-time,” explains Pedro Bados, CEO and founder of Nexthink, to Business Insider Spain with the Charles River crossing Boston and MIT in the background.
This means that when the system fails or you don’t know how to use a tool, you don’t need to contact support and wait a certain amount of time to be able to continue with your work.
Employees are not users, they are customers
Over the years, Nexthink has been growing and adding new functionalities that allow them to improve their services.
Now their software allows them to contact employees directly to ask them what they think of their applications and what they should improve, both in terms of technology and communication.
They have succeeded in creating a way of engagement with employees that changes the entire employment landscape.
“What was happening with IT companies is that they were treating employees a bit like users when employees are really their customers,” explains Nexthink’s CEO. “The workers are the ones they should be servicing.”
Thanks to this thinking and its technological innovations, Nexthink has managed to expand reaching some 700 employees, which is expected to reach 1,000 by the end of the year between major cities in Europe, India, and the United States.
It has also built up a portfolio of more than 1,000 customers worldwide, including such powerhouses as Johnson & Johnson and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
A million-dollar round of financing in the middle of a pandemic
But if we had to highlight a turning point in the life of this company, it would be its recent financing round, which has positioned it as a unicorn startup.
Nexthink will raise $180 million (150 million euros) in the first quarter thanks to Permira’s Growth Opportunities Fund I, bringing the company’s value to no less than $1.1 billion.
“This new round makes it clear that there is an important market in front of us and that we are very well positioned to be leaders in it,” explains the company’s founder and CEO. “This external financing confirms the value of the company.”
The big question is: how and why did it achieve a million-dollar round in the middle of a pandemic?
Pedro Brados explains that, despite the first months of uncertainty, Nexthink has been able to adapt to the circumstances and know how to make up for a problem for many companies with the coronavirus: the proper functioning of teleworking.
“The rise of teleworking has drastically accelerated the need for companies to offer a better quality of IT service to their workers since a large part of the interactions they have with companies are now in digital format,” says Bados.
IPO and workforce expansion in Spain
However, their new unicorn category is far from their ultimate goal, as Nexthink has many plans for the years ahead.
Specifically, they intend to IPO in about 18 to 24 months, but until then they will have all their eyes on consolidating their tools and continuing to grow to make that IPO as positive as possible.
Along these lines, although Nexthink’s software solves a global problem, they want to expand into large markets such as the United States.
But that does not mean that they have no plans for growth in Spain, as Pedro Bados assures that they will continue to invest in this market in 2 ways: one is the Spanish market as a customer and the other in terms of expanding their workforce.
With partners such as Accenture, Unisys, and Silverstorm, its Madrid office is Nexthink’s second most important engineering site, with some 80 employees. This number will increase by 20 to 30 employees in the coming months.
If one thing is clear, it is that Nexthink’s success has been the result of hard work coupled with a bit of luck, but also Pedro Bados insists that an essential factor has been believing that this project was possible.
“There are great companies being created in Europe, and some of them in Spain, that can be world leaders without problems,” adds Nexthink’s CEO. “You don’t need to be born in Silicon Valley to be successful, but you do need to believe that you can do it.”