Worksuite, the Dutch startup known for connecting IT professionals, has rebranded itself to InQommon. The new name is a clever representation of the startup’s mission to connect professionals in the field of technology, innovation, marketing, and finance.
Rebranding to achieve a larger goal
In January 2019, entrepreneurs Derk Disselhoff, Joey Davelaar, and Tim Jansen co-founded Worksuite, as a recruitment platform. The platform aimed to make it easier and cheaper to recruit data scientists, data engineers, machine learning engineers, and developers. In essence, Worksuite made it possible for hiring managers to find experts in different fields without the involvement of recruiters.
However, Worksuite always served a larger purpose of networking and connecting experts. This forced Worksuite to change the course and become InQommon with a focus on networking and knowledge sharing. “[InQommon] is the ultimate place where professionals from around the world have so much in common that they help each other move forward,” co-founder Derk Disselhoff said.
However, networking is one of the core strengths of LinkedIn and InQommon makes you wonder if it is really filling a gap in the space. Derk Disselhoff says the platform is not about abundance of connection and is focussed instead on tech professionals forming part of under-resourced teams. The platform doesn’t want to be for thought leaders and instead for those who want to connect with their peers with the sole purpose of discussing “substantive problems and challenges, or perhaps to brainstorm about strategic topics”.
Disselholf describes InQommon as a platform for professional networking with the bonus of social networking. “You have to look at it this way: InQommon is really a mix between LinkedIn and Tinder,” Disselhoff adds. Surprisingly, the platform is not called a metaverse for tech professionals but it does rely on AI and a continuously trained algorithm to match tech professionals based on their profile and interests.
The future of work is networking
Networking can now be described as the basis for the future of work. InQommon sees networking as a form of sharing knowledge with peers and co-founder Joey Davelaar says knowledge sharing is extremely important in the tech world. The tech industry’s success can be owed to the rapid pace at which it changes, evolves and pushes out innovative technologies, new insights, tools and opportunities.
Davelaar says that brainstorming has become an indispensable part of developing yourself in the tech world. “Working online makes it even easier to bring experts together; physical distance just doesn’t matter anymore,” he adds.
The future of work does not require people to be at the same office or shared space. With online meetings and digital workplaces becoming common and companies setting up digital headquarters during the pandemic, InQommon sees this as an opportunity for its platform to help tech professionals build meaningful connections online. Davelaar says InQommon aims to bring “the tech world even closer together.”
The network effect is playing out on InQommon with the first wave of sign-ups by professionals with backgrounds in the field of data science, AI, and development. However, the platform wants to be a place for those working in “digital marketing, product design, and innovation”. “We’re targeting the entire tech world, which includes entrepreneurs and investors. Our users come from more than 40 countries, mostly in Europe, Asia, and Africa,” Davelaar says about the target user base.
An algorithm that mimics Amazon and Tinder
One of the elements central to InQommon and a professional networking platform like LinkedIn is the matchmaking algorithm. InQommon says it is using a combination of two technologies. The first is similar to Tinder, where the behaviour of the user reinforces the recommendation system. The second technology resembles the one used by Amazon, where the algorithm looks at similarities between different statistics to reach an inference.
InQommon co-founder Tim Jansen says the algorithm also has an element of Uber’s rating system for rides. After each contact through the platform, InQommon users feed the system with a rating. This feedback model allows the algorithm to train itself and make better matches. “It’s important to note that the users themselves are responsible for training their own algorithms,” Jansen concludes about the technology.
InQommon has found its users hold an online meeting of about 45 minutes three times a month through its online platform. It is also being used mainly to brainstorm possible technical solutions and to validate hypotheses with peers. It has also helped people to hold follow-up conversations or connect with crypto entrepreneurs.
“InQommon really brings the tech world and professionals closer together. And that requires them to do very little because the platform arranges the next step on its own,” Davelaar says.
Funding and the road head
InQommon has raised over €600,000 of growth capital over the past two and a half years. Derk Disselhoff says the startup has raised funds from entrepreneurs with experience in tech, HR and matchmaking. Now, it is planning another round of growth capital as it emerges from stealth and envisions itself as the go-to platform for tech professionals looking to connect with peers for sharing knowledge, brainstorming ideas and solving mission-critical problems.
With the new growth capital, InQommon wants to continue its focus on product development and user growth. While LinkedIn continues to morph into a recruitment platform and place for thought leaders in different fields, InQommon could become the LinkedIn of yore, serving as a platform primarily to connect with like-minded professionals.