Templafy Nets $60 Million, Learning Pool Plots Expansion Plans and More News
Templafy, a cloud-based content management system that allows users to manage and update company-compliant digital assets, has closed a new round of funding at $60 million, according to Crunchbase News.
The latest round was led by Blue Cloud Ventures with participation from previous investors Insight Partners, Seed Capital, Dawn Capital and Damgaard Co. Since it was founded in 2014, the company has now reached a valuation of $125 million.
Copenhagen, Denmark-based Templafy employs nearly 400 people working with 600 customers and has seen a 121 percent increase in new annual recurring revenue during first quarter 2021 when compared to last year, according to CEO Jasper Theill Eriksen. The company plans to use the new funding to advance its growth strategy.
Templafy's platform integrates with applications like Microsoft Office and Salesforce and provides secure access to company-approved documents, presentations and emails. “The dispersed workforce has grown,” Theill Eriksen told Crunchbase. “We can provide employees with what they need to work — especially now when you cannot just ask your colleague next to you, ‘Where did you find that?’”
Insight Partners has been an investor in the company for the last several years, but according to Jonathan Rosenbaum, the firm's vice president, this funding round is particularly exciting because of what has changed in the past year.
“The future of work is top of mind for everyone and as we navigate remote and hybrid set-ups, the need for tech solutions that enable businesses is more important than ever,” he said in a statement.
Learning Pool Gets Investment From Marlin Equity Partners
Northern Ireland’s Learning Pool, a suite of digital learning products and services used in the U.K. and U.S. learning technology markets, has agreed to a new investment from Marlin Equity Partners. The investment firm, with more than $7.6 billion under management, is acquiring the shareholding of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland in the deal.
Learning Pool has enabled more than 1,100 companies, including companies like The FA, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Sky and Swiss Re, to migrate their training initiatives to modern cloud technology. Learning Pool helps companies at every stage of the employee lifecycle by creating onboarding experiences, compliance training and skills development opportunities.
The learning technology market heated up during the pandemic as organizations made investments in digital learning capability to cope with extended remote work arrangements. According to one report from RedThread Research, learning technology adoption increased by 58% last year and total vendor revenue grew to $599 million from $354 million the prior year.
"We believe the business is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on a highly attractive market opportunity, and we are excited to partner with an exceptional team to drive both organic and inorganic growth together," said Jan-Olivier Fillols, a managing director at Marlin Equity Partners, in the press statement.
Learning Pool plans to use the new investment to hire 100 new employees this year as it pursues continued growth. Learning Pool has made four acquisitions in four years, most recently acquiring U.S.-based LMS company Remote Learner.
“Over the past five years we have achieved phenomenal growth with the fantastic support of Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, and we’re very grateful for the help and encouragement we’ve had from the team," said Learning Pool Group CEO Paul McElvaney in a prepared statement. "We’re delighted to have found the right partner to help us continue our momentum and grow the Learning Pool brand globally.”
Poised Raises $4.5M Seed Round to Improve Spoken Communication
Poised, a San Francisco-based personalized digital communications coach, announced it has raised $4.5 million in seed funding. Led by Wing Venture Capital, participants include Jeff Weiner’s Next Play Ventures, Slack Fund, Hyphen Capital, and Concrete Rose Capital. Other investors include former NBA player Andre Iguodala and author and Wharton professor Adam Grant, among others.
Poised, founded in 2020 to help professionals become better communicators in online meetings and improve their spoken communication, is currently in private beta with new users on a waiting list. The funding will be used to continue to build the product, team and educational content, and to launch the product in general availability.
When Poised is turned on, it works with Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet to only record the speech of the person who is using it and deliver real-time feedback on aspects of the user’s communication such as confidence, clarity, energy and empathy.
“Communication is arguably the most important life skill and essential for career mobility,” said Charles Hua, co-founder and CEO of Poised in the press release statement. “Year after year, it’s one of the top skills in job listings on LinkedIn. The shift to hybrid and remote work has professionals logging exponential hours on audio/visual platforms daily, and that has made the need for strong speaking skills even more important.”
Silicon Reef Acquires Internal Comms Management Product Ripple
Ripple integrates into the Microsoft suite of tools, including Viva, SharePoint and Teams, and will complement Silicon Reef’s professional and managed services to provide clients with an end-to-end employee communications and engagement solution, company officials said.
From planning and creation to scheduling and management of internal communications campaigns, Ripple aims to enable teams to execute a variety of tasks from small announcements to large, strategic communication campaigns designed to encourage shifts in company culture or deliver long-term change.
“Acquiring the Ripple product is a natural and exciting step in Silicon Reef’s growth plan," said Silicon Reef CEO Alex Graves in a press statement. "Ripple sits perfectly within the Silicon Reef offering, connecting people, improving the way they work and communicate, and enabling them to share their stories. It also provides a unique way for our customers to listen to their employees.”
WorkForce Software Launches Integrated EX and Workforce Management Suite
WorkForce Software, an enterprise SaaS-based workforce management solution, released its WorkForce Suite with an integrated set of employee experience capabilities. Its goal is to facilitate real-time interactions between managers and their deskless employees.
The features include two-way communications and real-time workforce data, which workers and managers can use to engage with each other and capture feedback.
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"In our work with some of the largest global employers, we can see that focusing on improvements to employee experience are being prioritized even more highly than before the pandemic," said Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software in a press statement. "A tightening labor market, lower barriers to job change, and an increasingly diverse and digitally native employee population with higher expectations creates a demand for employers to re-imagine their workforce management technology and include solutions aimed at improving the employee experience."
Highlights of the WorkForce Suite include:
- WorkForce Experience: Designed to strengthen workplace bonds with communication and collaboration channels, easy access to information, in-the-moment feedback, micro-training, self-service, and automation.
- WorkForce Labor Forecasting: Uses machine learning to improve forecast models by evaluating new and historical data to ensure optimal staffing.
- WorkForce Scheduling: Enables a flexible, collaborative approach to scheduling while still ensuring the needs of the business and internal and external policies are met.
- WorkForce Insights: Assists managers and executives to make faster, more accurate decisions to avoid undesirable labor costs, shortages, or negative employee experiences.
Talent Marketplace Platform Gloat Raises $57 Million to Connect Employees With Career Opportunities
Talent marketplace technology platform Gloat announced a $57 million Series C round of funding on June 16. The New York City-based company plans to use the new funding to accelerate product development and expand its market.
Gloat's Talent Marketplace product is an AI-powered platform that companies use to connect employees with internal work and development opportunities including projects, full-time roles and mentoring. The intent of internal talent marketplaces like Gloat is to create a more agile and responsive organization by breaking down operational silos and moving internal talent more quickly to areas of growth and opportunity.
"We’ve known for a long time that the Talent Marketplace was more than just another technology platform," Gloat CEO Ben Reuveni wrote in a blog post about the new funding. "It was a redefinition of how we managed the modern enterprise, the way we saw talent within the organization, and the way we approached work itself."
The new funding was led by venture capital firm Accel, with participation from existing investors Intel Capital, Eight Roads, Magma Venture Partners and PICO Partners. Gloat has now raised $92 million since its founding in 2015. Customers include Unilever, Schneider Electric, Seagate Technology, Nestlé, Novartis, MetLife, HSBC and ABInBev.
Dynamic Signal and SocialChorus Announce Merger
SocialChorus and San Bruno, Calif.-based Dynamic Signal announced a merger on June 8 which will combine the two digital employee experience SaaS providers.
Sumeru Equity Partners, majority shareholders in San Francisco-based SocialChorus, will fund the merger through a significant new growth investment into the firm. SocialChorus CEO Gary Nakamura will lead the united company, with people from both companies rounding out the leadership team. Three Dynamic Signal board members, including Eric Brown, CEO of Dynamic Signal, will join the SocialChorus board of directors. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two companies, previously competitors, are both known for their workforce communications platforms. SocialChorus last announced updates to its platform, FirstUp, in April. The Content Microapps product and new FirstUp Studio aim to improve content design and personalized content delivery and are expected this summer. Combined, the two companies "present a huge opportunity for growth and innovation on the journey to give customers what they need to create an unparalleled digital employee experience," said Nakamura in a statement.
The merger comes at a time of increased interest in the employee experience, as companies explore potential returns to the office. Workplace communications platforms and broader digital workplace tools showed dramatic growth as a result of the work from home mandates of the last 15 months. A December 2020 report by The Insight Partners estimates the employee communications market alone would grow from $739.4 million in 2019 to a $1.78 billion market by 2027.
Box Releases New Self-Service Cloud Migration Tools
In February, cloud content management and file sharing service Box announced Box Shuttle, their low-cost, full-service migration program. This week they released a new suite of self-service Box Shuttle migration tools, notably offering them free of charge.
According to a recent blog, all Box customers can move up to 10 terabytes of content that meets the following conditions through Box Shuttle:
- Network file shares, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and SharePoint Online.
- Existing user-based permissions are sufficient. (Box Shuttle standard tooling identifies incompatibilities and provides pre-defined rules to modify in-flight.)
- Content only contains simple metadata such as file and folder names, size, created and modified dates.
Using Box Shuttle, customers can move content to Box at petabyte scale with no volume limits for $500 per terabyte. In the four months since the launch of Box Shuttle, the company has seen more than a 50% jump in managed migration projects. In February, customers moved nearly 300% more terabytes of content through Box Shuttle than compared to a year prior.