August 10, 2023: From founding vision to revolutionizing automation
Why AI startups are still thriving, some essential startup advice and more
Profile: Forma.ai and your sales compensation strategy
What is Forma.ai?
Forma.ai is the world’s first sales compensation solution driven by a collective data model. It allows organizations to design, execute, and optimize their sales compensation strategy within a single platform.
The company's platform automates a wide range of tasks that go beyond traditional incentive compensation management tools. It deconstructs sales compensation into fundamental components like functions, rules, and workflows, which are then reused across various clients to automate repetitive tasks consistently.
Forma, the company's platform, manages billions in annual commissions for enterprises like OpenTable, Stryker, and Autodesk. It revolutionizes the existing cloud spreadsheet model by integrating previously separate incentive processes into a unified, high-performance, scalable, and adaptable environment.
Forma empowers more impactful incentives and quicker execution, promoting optimal sales team behavior by eliminating the constraints of inflexible and disconnected compensation processes. This shift allows valuable compensation resources to focus on enhancing sales behaviors through incentive design rather than getting caught up in formula creation and management.
How did it come together?
From previous roles and experience working with sales compensation programs and helping others optimize their sales compensation programs, Nabeil (CEO and Founder), noticed some gaps that needed improvement.
Nabeil faced challenges with leadership's frequent changes to compensation plans and pricing structures. Each time a new plan was introduced, he had to reset and reprogram the automation, a process taking weeks.
Although the software helped automate tasks, setting up the automation was time-consuming. The system was also vulnerable because departing sales comp team members took their knowledge with them, requiring Nabeil to reset the automation. To address these issues and free himself for other tasks, Nabeil sought a comprehensive solution for full automation.
Shortly after, Formai.ai was born.
Nabeil shared the full story on building Forma on a recent episode of The Founders Journey and answered more of our burning questions
Quick Take: AI startups continue to prove their value
In late July, three Canadian startups secured impressive funding totaling over $200 million USD:
- Ottawa-based Solink raised $60m USD from investors including Goldman Sachs Asset Management, OMERS Ventures, ScaleUp Ventures, and BDC IT Ventures. Solink, a video surveillance software company, generates $30 million+ USD in revenue and serves 18,000 global retail locations with AI-driven insights from existing security cameras.
- Another Ottawa-based company, MindBridge, secured $60m USD from PSG Equity LLC. With revenues exceeding $20 million, MindBridge employs AI to detect fraud and accounting issues. Notably, 75% of this funding round is dedicated to buyouts of current investors.
- Toronto's Tenstorrent raised $100 million USD from investors such as Hyundai Motor Group and Samsung Catalyst Fund. The company focuses on designing AI chips for machine learning tasks, anticipating the growing demand for AI-enabling chips.
These investments provide insights into each company's stage and prospects:
- Solink represents a classic growth-stage investment in a successful SAAS start-up with a proven market fit, aimed at fueling further expansion.
- MindBridge's funding aligns more with private equity, combining capital for growth with investor buyouts, highlighting an emphasis on both efficiency and expansion.
- Tenstorrent's substantial funding underscores its potential and strategic investor interest, particularly from Hyundai Motors, suggesting a focus on shaping the company's direction and future AI chip supply.
What are the key takeaways?
While AI might be seen as overhyped like cryptocurrencies and blockchain, it's already delivering tangible value.
Companies utilizing AI to create innovative solutions are poised to lead the next tech trend.
When starting or investing in such ventures, assessing how AI can significantly enhance a solution, the longevity of that enhancement, and the company's ability to fulfill its promises are crucial considerations, despite their complexity.
Reads & Opportunities
Preempting the round
An honest take on the state of Venture Capital right now
Canadian AI chip manufacturer closes $100m
General Fusion raises over $30m CAD
Essential startup advice everyone can learn from
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