“Pretty exhausting”: That’s how most top professionals, entrepreneurs and C-level executives describe the post-pandemic year 2022. Tech suffered major layoffs, business leaders dealt with the Great Resignation, and the crypto market looks more dead than alive.
The way top professionals work and look for new opportunities has changed, although business networking hasn’t been disrupted since LinkedIn. In 2022, its market size measured by revenue was $72.2 billion, according to IBS World. And it’s becoming increasingly crowded and competitive around the world, analysts report.
A number of new solutions have launched this year. For example, Pineapple, an app for Gen Zers, hit the market in November. The brainchild of 22-year-old David Diamond, the startup’s co-founder and CEO, the app aims to give young professionals visual story profiles.
In December, Intch, a networking app that connects top-level professionals, announced $1.2 million in a round led by AltaIR Capital.
Launched by Yakov Filippenko, the startup aims to disrupt the future-of-work for tech professionals and C-level executives with its proprietary AI-based user-matching algorithms. Filippenko’s previous startup, SailPlay, was acquired by Retail Rocket, a retention management platform for brands.
“Existing networking solutions don’t fit the expectations of young professionals, such as millennials and Gen Zers,” Filippenko said. “They prefer flexibility and independence, value skills over work titles, and don't want to waste time on inefficient networking.”
According to Filippenko, Intch’s AI takes the stress off the first contact, allowing professionals “to save energy for actual collaboration.”
Intch currently connects more than 100K users from 130 countries — over 60% are C-level executives. The app matches top-tier professionals looking for remote project-based work, investment for their new ventures, or a specific expertise.
By helping users to go beyond their existing social circle, Inch helps to grow one’s network by exchanging professional favors, such as warm introductions or mentorship. Intch’s AI algorithm matches relevant users around the world by background, location, their personal connections, and other data they provide.
Post-Covid, the Great Resignation has been a major issue in the U.S. for businesses. As inflation makes a dent in people’s consumption, top tier professionals are looking to get back to work. But due to the lack of remote options in the workplace, many prefer project gigs in addition to, or instead of, full-time employment.
“It’s clear that the trend towards remote work is here to stay,” said Igor Ryabenkiy, the CEO and Managing Partner of AltaIR Capital. “We see it in the success of our portfolio companies, such as Deel and Miro. The future of work requires changes in business networking — setting up new ways for people to find professional collaborations, build new connections and make introductions."
With Intch, users can post pitches instead of their resumes, and receive appropriate offers from AI. The app also helps with creating a professional biography, provides pre-designed templates for requests, and an easy-to-use framework for introductions.
Over half of Americans are considering second jobs, and the number of white-collar workers looking for side projects tripled in 2022. Apps that provide business leaders with trustworthy referrals to help hire top professionals could be a trend that continues into 2023.
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