Southern California VC fund leads investment round in the Norwegian tech-company Globus AI

Jan 5, 2021

The American VC fund Miramar Digital Ventures makes its debut outside its own borders when they invest in Norwegian At the same time, the Sandnes company announces a move to the USA.*

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The SoCal VC came on board as new investors last week after an issue of $1.2 million in the first round that was officially closed on 14 December 2020.

Helge Bjorland, CEO and Co-founder of Globus AI comments on the great news:  

“Miramar Digital Venture see a great potential in the US staffing market and were looking for companies that solve staffing problems. This is the first investment they have ever made outside the United States. They contacted us after reading the article about Globus AI in Fortune Magazine. They are very excited to bring Scandinavian AI to the US.”

With the help of artificial intelligence, the start-up company Globus AI aims to solve staffing problems in a number of industries, first in health.  

In a recent interview with the online tech newspaper Shifter, Bjorland states:

- The most important thing in the staffing industry is people. The right person in the right place is the key. With the help of self-learning AI, you can understand individuals in a better way, and ensure the right match for each assignment.  

Helge Bjorland founded the company in 2018, together with Jan Kristiansen, Ivan Metrikin, Tor-Håkon Hellebostad, all with experience in AI and IT in companies such as Telenor and Equinor.

Globus AI well-positioned for the future  

This investment is the first for Miramar in the Nordics. The round also includes Cylance founder Stuart McClure as well as former Google director and co-founder of Scopely, Eytan Elbaz. From the Norwegian side, x5 Invest and existing shareholders such as Christian Rokseth, as well as the founders themselves, employees, friends and family participate.

Globus also keeps the possibilities open for raising an additional five million NOK in a "second close" with similar conditions until 31 January 2021.

Bjorland also states that an American company has been established, Globus Inc., which will be the new parent company in the organization. The Norwegian company is grouped in a holding company and functions as a subsidiary of the US.  

The company, which uses a SaaS model, steers towards a turnover of NOK 12 million and a positive result this year. So far, the company has been largely self-financed, in addition to support from soft-funding from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council, as well as early investments from Startuplab and Christian Rokseth , who own 10 percent and 4 percent of the shares, respectively. Rokseth is among those who enter with money in this round.

Automation of candidate matching increases agency revenue with 40 percent

The SaaS product Globus Staffing matches, among other things, vacant personnel in the staffing agencies with open shifts at hospitals, for example. It is a task that has so far been done mostly manually, according to Bjorland.

Bjorland says that automating the process of both ordering and placing candidates for staffing agencies, has given customers up to 40 percent increased revenue so far.

- With an unprejudiced and “emphatic” AI, we also ensure that candidates are given equal opportunities, so that you always find the best person for each assignment, says Bjorland.

- Globus began with a clear vision to improve quality of life and save lives. We worked for a while to find the area we should focus on. The fact that we can both work with sustainability at the same time as we solve a major problem for the staffing industry is exciting.

- There is a lot of focus on digitization in the staffing industry. It is an industry that lags in this area. Those who manage to change will therefore have a great competitive advantage.

The Norwegian Minister of Trade & Industry visits the Globus AI Headquarters

Just before Christmas, Minister of Trade and Industry Iselin Nybø visited the Rogaland company. In collaboration with Innovation Norway, the Norwegian government had granted Globus AI new national funding to support further developments and enable continued growth. On the agenda for the visit was a discussion on how Scandinavian AI can support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.  

By showing the minister a live demo of the product, the team portrayed how they use AI to contribute to their vision of improving quality of life. She was intrigued by the different possibilities of the product and highlighted the impact Globus AI can have within the healthcare industry.

UK expansion in 2021

The company is currently working on entering the UK market, which during the pandemic year has struggled with staffing in the health sector. Then the plan is to expand to the United States.

- The demand for hospital staff is currently high, which makes the need for solutions like Globus Staffing great. The team is working hard to be able to deliver the solution quickly to new customers.

The founder also says that the company works with necessary product adaptations, so that they can also deliver to new industries, especially in pedagogy and energy.

What should you have achieved in 10 years?

- In 10 years, we have achieved "unicorn" status as a global market-leading software company, well known for a fantastic culture and outstanding people who help to improve the quality of life.

* Some parts of this article are based on a recent article in the online Norwegian technology newspaper Shifter.

Read the whole original interview with Shifter here (in Norwegian).

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