Continuum is a venture-backed wager on fractional work, and, higher but, that founders need to present humanity throughout moments of disaster. The corporate, launched by CEO Nolan Church in August 2020, began as a play to attach startups to part-time govt assist. Now, it has increase to assist struggling tech corporations lower workers in a extra humane, considerate approach.
“In the event you actually take into consideration the place these have gone mistaken, all it’s a must to do is take a look at Higher.com,” stated Church throughout an interview with Nob6. “The CEO talks about himself, does the mass firing on Zoom, no particular person communication…a complete catastrophe.” (No kidding).
As an alternative Church thinks conducting layoffs is “actually not that arduous to get proper” if a founder is concentrated on the appropriate issues. He’s speaking from expertise: The founder was the chief folks officer at Carta when the corporate laid off 13% of the corporate in April 2020. Throughout that lower, Carta CEO Henry Ward took final possession of the layoffs, a key messaging transfer that Church identified.
To take that lesson and scale it, Church is launching a brand new product, accessible immediately, that can join management groups to an HR govt who will assist craft an organization communications plan, a variety and influence evaluation, and day-of assist in conducting the layoffs.
Alongside layoff assist, Continuum presents govt assistance on a wide range of use circumstances, from compensation technique to expertise acquisitions. Consider it as a two-sided market: Continuum brings collectively executives with expertise from VC-backed corporations, together with leaders from Tesla, Plaid, Intercom, Snap, Carta and Twitch, and connects them with corporations that need assistance with a particular problem or pivot.
The corporate claims that inside 48 hours, a buyer will likely be matched with an govt who has beforehand solved that precise downside. All funds are dealt with by Continuum, together with contracts, invoices, payouts and taxes of the part-time govt.
With the layoff product, every startup will get one hour of session at no cost, after which pricing is predicated on the dimensions of an organization’s present headcount. If there are between 20 to 100 full-time workers at a enterprise, it prices a one-time $10,000 charge to chop any variety of workers. If a startup is between 100 to 250 full-time workers, any workforce discount will price $20,000.
If a founder can’t afford to have workers, can they actually handle a subscription that helps the inevitable workforce discount go smoother? Shopping for yet one more SaaS instrument or marketing consultant service might really feel like a pleasant to have, versus a have to have, relying on how good Continuum’s gross sales workforce is.
“We’re speaking a couple of very marginal price to have the ability to preserve your model, your popularity and your going-forward tradition,” Church stated. “In the event you run a layoff poorly, you continue to have a workforce that it’s a must to re-motivate and orient on the place the long run goes for the corporate.” Future success, the founder thinks, is definitely worth the “little bit of cash” behind the funding.
The broader objective of Continuum additionally hinges on early-stage startups getting extra comfy with the thought of part-time executives. Church thinks that the recession will speed up the development of startups relying extra on contractors, consultants, advisors and angel traders to be contributors to an organization. Half-time staff assist mitigate danger, fill in key gaps throughout essential moments and price much less cash so as to add on when an organization is attempting to give attention to sustainable development.
“I feel it’s going to appear to be 60% full-time workers and 40% fractional workers, versus 95% full-time and 5% fractional immediately,” he stated.
Moreover, the problem with any market is high quality assurance, particularly when demand scales. Proper now, Continuum says lower than 1% of govt candidates are accepted. But, if the layoff product sticks or fractional work turns into extra fashionable, how can the corporate rapidly discover a set of extremely certified former executives to tackle this gig?
Church identified that almost all executives and operators within the early-stage startup world have solely lived by way of a bear market, at the least whereas in a management function, and the identical may be true for the expertise that they appeal to. The corporate might discover itself needing to coach executives on methods to be higher about layoffs, after which let these executives practice prospects.
Regardless of the challenges, it’s Continuum’s bold end-to-end imaginative and prescient that helped the startup land a $12 million Collection A led by Pelion Ventures with participation from Uncork Capital, Day One Ventures and angel traders together with the CEOs of DoorDash, Divvy and Thumbtack.
The corporate declined to reveal valuation.