A Staines based provider of mobile employee engagement solutions is the latest company to receive investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund. The £175,000 investment is part of a £750k round, which also includes £455,000 from business angels, facilitated by the FSE Investor Network, and existing investors.
A second close will shortly see an additional institutional investor provide a further £0.25m, bringing the total investment to £1m. FSE has achieved leverage of over 5 times its investment, which will help accelerate the company’s growth ambitions.
StaffConnect is carving a niche in the underdeveloped space of employee engagement, specifically targeting sectors and environments where a significant proportion of staff are non-desk based and do not feel an attachment to the company. Its platform provides employees with an app for their smartphones, meaning they can connect with their colleagues and employers without having to give personal phone numbers and email addresses, whilst providing employers with a sophisticated interface which can be used to manage and measure a wide range of functions to support employee engagement.
Founder and CEO, Bulent Osman, outlines the problem: “disengaged staff can be a huge barrier to success with research suggesting that, in the US alone, the cost to business is around $500 billion; an effective internal communications strategy that instils company values and cultivates a sense of loyalty and belonging, can deliver almost 50% higher returns across a business. Our solution gives an employer the opportunity to add this value across their entire organisation, especially where workers are remote or non-desk based and most likely to continue feeling disconnected.”
With the rise of social media, this disengagement is even more damaging to businesses than it has been in the past, as disgruntled employees frequently take to these – sometimes public – platforms to express negative feelings and experiences.
StaffConnect addresses this, along with other elements to promote and improve employee engagement, through its range of pre-built and bespoke modules that include among others, news, messaging, events, social and surveys. Already in use by a number of blue-chip clients including Vodafone, Yeo Valley and YMCA, this is a well-developed product that is ready for further roll-out. This latest round of investment will be used to grow the sales team and customer support function, aiding expansion across additional territories.
Ralph Singleton, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), adds: “StaffConnect has created a leading-edge solution with a technical capability beyond that of the competition and for such a young company to have already secured global, high-profile clients, with many more in the pipeline, is both unusual and impressive. We look forward to working with the team to capitalise on the growing traction they are experiencing and fulfil their potential in this rapidly expanding market.”
Geoff French, CBE, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP comments: “We are really pleased to see that Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is helping another ambitious company to expand and maximise productivity. The £900,000 we have invested into local businesses so far from the £5.5m pot, has leveraged a further £4.1m in additional funding from private and institutional investors, thus generating a total of £5m for businesses to grow and create more jobs in our area.”
The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, a £5.5million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.