The Autism Impact Fund (AIF), whose mission is to revolutionize the status quo for diagnosing, treating and living with autism through a venture capital model, has led a new investment round in auticon, a technology consulting provider that is the global leader in employing autistic individuals.
Since its founding in 2011, auticon now has operations in 8 countries and employs 350 people; more than 250 of whom are on the autism spectrum. auticon’s technology consultants provide outsourced services to some of the world’s leading companies, including Disney, Warner Bros., IBM, Salesforce, Merck, Deloitte, BMW, and many others.
“Unemployment is one of the most acute issues facing adults on the autism spectrum. Our investment will help the company grow operationally, including the development and scaling of technologies that support their employment model, helping auticon to screen, hire, and retain more neurodiverse talent in technology roles,” said Chris Male, AIF’s Founder and Managing Partner. “AIF’s ambition is to become the investment and innovation arm of the autism community and by leading this funding round with auticon we are taking another important step toward realizing our goals,” added Mr. Male.
Data indicates that 85% of autistic adults are unemployed or under-employed–often despite being highly qualified. This is due to a variety of causes, including challenges navigating the traditional job interview process, lack of support, bullying, and inability to socially fit in at work. auticon harnesses the unique strengths of autistic individuals, including pattern recognition, precision, creative intelligence, sustained concentration, and error detection, to offer sophisticated consulting solutions to clients.
“Autism is a key ingredient in how we innovate, create and improve,” said auticon’s Group CEO, Kurt Schöffer. “It may take us to Mars one day, build the metaverse, or code applications for Web3. At auticon we believe that neurodiverse teams are better than homogenous teams, and we are proving it with the support of Chris and his team at AIF.”
auticon’s client services include business analytics, Salesforce Administration, software development, cybersecurity, as well as quality assurance and testing. auticon has significantly grown its business and platform and ended 2021 EBITDA-positive. This new funding round led by AIF totals more than $4 million. Existing investors include Sir Richard Branson, the Porsche family, Ferd AS, and Ananda Impact Ventures, among others.
“We’ve been impressed with auticon’s tremendous talent pool which is making noticeable contributions in Nationwide’s technology team. From job placement support to training programs for our leaders, auticon is on a mission to help us achieve our collective goals. As a result, Nationwide has a stronger and more neurodiverse workforce,” said Jim Fowler, EVP, Chief Technology Executive at Nationwide. “auticon’s mission should cause employers to stop and take notice.”
As a social enterprise, auticon enriches the lives of autistic adults and acts as a catalyst for making radical change in client organizations. auticon’s unique business model provides job coaches and product managers who provide daily technical and mental health support to the company’s consultants as they work with client teams. auticon plans to expand deeper into existing territories, develop proprietary employee recruiting technology, and scale a new line of business that provides corporate neurodiversity training to global companies interested in hiring its consultants.
Founded in 2021, AIF has invested in nine companies, including early stage and growth businesses. The fund makes direct investments across diverse sectors and stages of financing, and is guided by four key values: 1) Invest in companies that will produce significant advancements in quality of life for the ASD community; 2) provide access to best-in-class services, diagnostics, and therapeutics; 3) apply rigorous investing criteria to deliver returns not only to investors but to all stakeholders, including ASD individuals and their families; 4) rewrite the impact investing equation, overlaying financial discipline and proven business strategies with scientific acumen to improve the status quo for individuals with autism.
With a high demand for data quality and flawless software development, auticon provides a neurodiverse and agile workforce to improve our client’s technology projects. Our hybrid onsite and offsite teams utilize the cognitive benefits of autism to provide the sustained concentration and analytical mindset that makes us wired for success.
Our teams include fully-trained personnel specializing in software development, data analysis, quality assurance and testing, automation engineering, and more.
auticon has international offices in Germany, United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and throughout the United Kingdom. Investors include Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group Ltd., Felix and Susanne Porsche, Ananda Impact Ventures, Ferd AS, and Ferst Capital Partners.
About The Autism Impact Fund
The Autism Impact Fund (AIF) seeks to become the investment and innovation arm of the autism community. AIF’s mission is to revolutionize the status quo for diagnosing, treating and living with autism. Through a venture capital model, AIF accelerates the development and delivery of emerging technologies, translational science and innovative services to empower individuals to reach their full potential. For more information, visit www.autismimpact.fund.