Upskilling Platform Anthropos raises $2.7m

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Anthropos’ new platform provides a unique avenue for employees to upskill themselves in the age of AI, while helping companies map out and verify critical employee skills. 

San Francisco (US) and Lugano (Switzerland) – Talent shortage and skills development are among the top two priorities businesses are struggling to get to grips with today, according to Gartner. Helping them take control of the situation, startup Anthropos has raised $2.7M to create a new way for companies to help employees evolve their skill sets in accordance with business needs while improving retention. 

With offices in the US and Switzerland, Anthropos’ pre-seed round is led by Switzerland-based Founderful with additional participation from Eden Ventures, Exor Ventures, Zanichelli Venture, Alessandro Rivetti and several angel investors across the EU and US. 

“People want to see a clear path to grow in their organization and learn the exact skills they need to succeed there. At the same time, you can’t run your business without modern skills and a solution to constantly understand what your people can and cannot do. It’s a problem that is intensifying across all industries and it will get even more important as people need to adopt AI and make it part of their daily job,” said Stefano Bellasio, CEO of Anthropos. 

Anthropos was founded by Stefano Bellasio and Giacomo Marinangeli after building Cloud Academy Inc, a cloud training platform they started in 2013. The duo scaled the business to over $25M in ARR with Fortune 500 customers like Microsoft, Warner Media, and Deloitte, and, in the process, realized the majority of their enterprise customers were struggling with the same interrelated problems: employee retention and skills development. After exiting the business to the UK’s largest tech training provider, Stefano and Giacomo decided to focus on a completely different space with Anthropos, a solution that wants to help corporates with their constant challenges to retain and build their skills.

Anthropos helps companies centralize all their skills, employee experiences and training libraries in a modern, employee-focused platform. With Anthropos, companies can map out dedicated paths for every role inside the organization. As a result, employees can upskill themselves in accordance with the roles they want to advance in, and companies can constantly assess what skills are relevant for each role and verify which employees have those skills. This is a significant improvement from the status quo of long, convoluted employee questionnaires to ascertain skill abilities. Central to evidencing its approach, Anthropos is able to verify soft and technical skills at different stages of the employee lifecycle, from hiring to training and progression.

As part of the platform, Anthropos has built its own skills taxonomy, which currently covers over 60,000 skills and 18,000 job roles. The company has also created a new technology, called AI Job Simulations, to screen candidates at scale by placing them into immersive real-life scenarios with virtual customers, stakeholders, and colleagues where they can solve missions that demonstrate their soft and hard skills. Early customers at Anthropos have decided to customize their AI Job Simulations to screen candidates at scale and to prepare them for new roles, letting them make mistakes talking to (virtual) customers and other teams and learning from them in a safe environment.

The founders describe Anthropos as the easiest way to build a school for each organization where people can learn and evolve with the business at different stages of the employee lifecycle. As part of this, Anthropos is also designed to act as a network. Employees can see the skills their colleagues have, learn how they acquired them, and ultimately pinpoint potential mentors to help them grow. 

The team launched Anthropos earlier this year and their initial customer base, concentrated in the tech and tech consulting space, is already leveraging Anthropos to stay competitive and retain top talent. Current customers are using Anthropos to rapidly verify the skills of employees that were migrating to new roles, to easily identify the right people with the right skills for certain projects, and to screen candidates at scale by putting them in real scenarios related to their roles using the company’s AI Job Simulations. 

“It’s a great opportunity for companies. We have seen it first hand, modern generations consider growth and a clear path to learning new skills as the most important aspect of their jobs. It’s more important than your salary or bonuses. If you can’t provide this, you will see employees joining and leaving within months.” said CEO Stefano Bellasio. 

Antonia Albert, Principal at Founderful added: “We believe that every employee wants to grow and evolve, and that lack of career development and advancement is one of the key drivers of employee turnover. Using AI to democratize career paths and skills development is such a great mission. We are convinced that Stefano and Giacomo, after having successfully scaled and sold their previous tech company, are the right founders to give both companies and employees the transparency needed to enable clear career paths and professional as well as personal growth.

Looking ahead, Anthropos plans to provide companies and employees access to thousands of skill paths and AI Simulations for roles and skills across multiple departments that every organization can customize. The company is also planning to publish its first batch of AI Job Simulations in the coming months. “Giacomo and I envision Anthropos becoming the solution for companies to manage and develop all their competencies. In a world that will be redesigned by AI in every role, we believe it’s a great opportunity to help everyone transform their careers,” added CEO Stefano Bellasio.

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