OurPeople, the British start-up that built a communication and team engagement platform for workers without an office, has raised $ 2 million in Series A funding.
Leading the way, Alpine Meridian, an investment company specializing in digital media, e-commerce and healthcare, and entrepreneur Robert Neveu, who also joins OurPeople as a managing partner. This brings the total funding to $ 3 million.
Founded in 2016 by Ross McCaw, Bristol-based OurPeople offers a secure mobile platform for businesses to communicate digitally with employees, ensuring that teams can stay connected. The start-up works mainly in sectors with a large number of workers without offices, such as fitness and leisure. Clients currently include West Ham United Foundation, Virgin Active UK, Paulton’s Park and Serco Leisure.
McCaw – who was previously a part-time lifeguard and swimming instructor – previously founded CoursePro to improve the way swimming lessons are administered in the UK and other countries. By the time the company was fully acquired by Jonas Software in 2014, over one million swimmers had registered. After the success of CoursePro, he spotted another opportunity and launched OurPeople.
“I saw firsthand how companies struggled to communicate with their employees,” says McCaw. “Specifically, the members of their remote officeless team who, most often, do not have access to a corporate email but who are the people most directly exposed to their customers.”
What really stood out was the number of trainers who did not engage in company news and announcements. “It was bad for the company and for them. I looked at a number of other sectors and saw that it was a larger problem among many industries with a high number of workers without offices. ”
McCaw describes the OurPeople solution as a “highly sophisticated but easy to use” messaging service that ensures that the right people in an organization get the information they need when they need it. He believes that it is this targeted nature and being mobile first that sets the communication platform apart from its competitors.
“Typically, our competitors fall into one of two categories: the social network in the workplace or general public discussion groups. In our opinion, the two create too much noise and chatter. They’re not targeted enough, ”says McCaw.
“Employees want to see content that is relevant to them and incredibly quick to read or watch. The employer, on the other hand, wants to know that the communication has been seen and recognized. To achieve this, we have a “marking” system so that only people who absolutely need to see this message receive it “.
In addition, the founder of OurPeople says that the platform is different because the startup is not trying to create a social network in the workplace “where vital information can get lost in all the noise”.
“OurPeople is about crucial and relevant information at the right time that engages hard-to-reach employees and will not slow them down in the face of their duties in front of customers. We make internal communications, especially with distant and officeless colleagues, effective and efficient. ”