Taso Du Val

Co-founder and CEO , Toptal | 2017

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Taso Du Val, co-founder and CEO of human cloud firm Toptal, doesn’t see his company as part of the “gig economy.” Instead, he sees it as part of the “talent economy” — matching clients with highly skilled workers.

Du Val founded Toptal in 2010 after noticing “a real gap in terms of high-skilled labor being contracted for talent at a reasonable price.” In addition, the US labor market was also very constricted because schools aren’t producing enough graduates with science degrees. Du Val then tested the Toptal business model and found that it worked.

“Besides Uber and some of the ride-sharing services, we haven’t seen a lot of successful companies come out of the on-demand talent space,” he says. Toptal’s technology aims to automate and scale the process for selecting top talent for complex jobs, he says. It’s the technology that is key. “Toptal is fundamentally a technology company, we simply happen to be in the talent space.”

Prior to founding Toptal, Du Val was a lead engineer at Fotolog, which was acquired by Hi-Media for $100 million, and at Slide, which was acquired by Google for $228 million.