Erik Fjellborg was flipping burgers at a McDonald’s in Sweden when he saw the hassles a restaurant manager had to deal with managing schedules and shifts.
“Everytime someone wanted to book a shift or swap a shift, the manager had to go back to the back office with this huge telephone list and started to dial around for replacements, which could take hours,” he told Business Insider.
Fjellborg was then a high school student with a passion for computers, and his McDonald’s stint sparked an idea, software to help businesses manage a workplace better.
He was only 18 when he launched Quinyx in 2005. The startup offers AI-powered cloud software for scheduling, absence management and improving business operations, by analyzing all of its data. Quinyx has now raised $40 million from several venture capital investors, including Battery Ventures, Alfvén & Didrikson, and Zobito.
McDonald’s Swedish subsidiary became one of its first customers, and Quinyx also has been embraced by the burger chain in other Nordic countries, Fjellborg said.
“McDonald’s was a good starting point for the business,” he said. “We still have them as a customer today, which is great.”
Quinyx has not been embraced by McDonald’s in the US where it based — but that could soon change, Fjellborg said. Last month, Quinyx, which now has 700 customers and 500,000 users mostly in Europe where it has a strong presence, launched its US operations, opening an office in Boston.
“We reached a certain scale in Europe, and it was a good time for us to make this move,” he said.
Quinyx is competing in a growing market. The human capital management market is projected to grow from $16.4 billion to $17.9 billion this year, according to IDC.
Gartner’s report on the vendors in the space cited Quinyx’s focus on businesses in retail, hospitality, transportation, warehousing and health care. Its customers have between 1,000 and 10,000 employees, with its largest customer having more than 40,000.
Moving to the US was a logical next step for the company, Fjellborg said.
“We are setting up operations to take the market opportunity and grow in the most interesting and largest market in the world, he said. “We have an ambition to build a global company, so we have to be in the US market.”
Here’s the pitch deck Quinyx used to raise $40 million: