Startup of the Week: StaffConnect – based in the UK and US 2


This week we feature UK and US based startup, StaffConnect, that aims to deliver a powerful mobile employee engagement platform.

StaffConnect’s customer-branded mobile app gives employees ‘a voice’, with access to company and user-generated content to increase loyalty and productivity. The cloud-hosted platform empowers employers to target that content, with analytics, to deepen engagement with everyone.

From offices in London and San Francisco, StaffConnect’s platform and domain experts are supporting large businesses from around the world to inspire their workforces to deliver better performance, improved customer experiences and greater shareholder value.

StaffConnect App – unites the entire workforce from the field to the boardroom – enabling all employees to engage with company communications and connect with and be inspired by corporate goals.Employees are empowered to express views and share knowledge across business-lines, titles and geographies; thereby increasing employee job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The StaffConnect app is designed specifically to deliver a better employee experience, which ultimately leads to better served customers, greater customer loyalty and increased revenues.

StaffConnect App

The company recently announced the availability of a new eBook entitled, Can Technology Solve the Employee Engagement Crisis?  The eBook proves out why this is no longer just an HR issue, drawing the direct inarguable link between a lack of employee engagement and the negative impact on business performance, reflected in declining corporate profits, shareholder value and the bottom line – by as much as 202%.

“As organizations begin to fully understand how a lack of worker engagement affects a company’s overall performance and success, the discussion is being elevated from the conference room to the boardroom,” said Geraldine Osman, Vice President of Marketing, StaffConnect.  “And, like virtually every other critical business challenge faced over the past century, savvy forward-looking leaders know that innovative technology holds the key.”

Startup Bytes

StaffConnect  – Innovative New Employee Engagement Platform Increases Workforce Engagement, Business Performance, End Customer Satisfaction and Profitability
Founders:  Bulent Osman, Founder and CEO
Startup Focus:  Enterprise mobile employee engagement platform
Future Plans: Continuous innovation, global expansion

Competitors:  Status-Quo or Facebook Workplace

Startup stage and funding: Post seed

CEO Bulent Osman

Q&A: Interview with Bulent Osman, Founder and CEO

How did you get started with the idea?

Throughout my high-tech/enterprise software career, I have seen firsthand the impact of a disengaged workforce.  During my tenure at a well-known and highly respected, global organization, a name that mom would know, the point was truly driven home.  Here, there was a lack of connection to a clear goal or purpose, and not knowing that what we were doing was making an impact.  There was minimal communication from leadership regarding strategy, etc.  Churn was frequent – and a clear theme emerged during exit interviews – lack of engagement.  And, because turnover was high, the resources we expended on recruitment and training were crazy.  You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to make the ultimate connection that unhappy employees = sub-optimum effort, as well as employee turnover (and the associated costs) = sub-optimum customer experience = a hit to bottom-line corporate profits.

Alternately, during my time at a startup, I had experienced the positive results of an emotionally committed workforce.  Perhaps it was the nature of the beast – we were physically together much of the time either in the office or on the road, regardless of title.  Communication was seamless.  We felt like the company’s win was our win.  And our tireless efforts and almost religious dedication reflected it.

During my time at that global software solutions provider, I had what you refer to as my ah-ha moment.  This company had a huge HR department.  Employee communication and engagement was a priority.  Yet, they were failing at it.  And, I saw the pain that resulted in that failure.  I knew that technology would be the key to overcoming it.  As I thought about the necessary solution, it also became clear to me that it should not only improve workforce engagement, but also measure it.

This is why StaffConnect incorporates a management console to measure and report on engagement across the workforce. My other firm belief is that technology needs to be defined by domain experts that understand the use case. Our unique AppSuccess program, which works with our customers to define winning content and communication strategies ahead of implementing the mobile platform, is designed specifically by internal communication leaders that really understand how to make our customers successful.

The idea sounds unique. Who are your main competitors?     

This is such an emerging space that it is difficult to come up with a definitive list.  There are a few niche players in different regions, but no dominant market leaders. I often get asked about Facebook Workplace as they have recently launched a product to try and get into the market.  But, there are so many limitations, and most customers I hear from are totally averse to deploying Facebook in their workplace.

Who are the main customers of StaffConnect?

We have experienced strong growth in our core markets of the UK and US but we have also seen a big rise in customers from other regions around the world like Australia, Scandinavia and the Middle East. We are also experiencing growth in new markets, manufacturing, mining, construction, travel, non profit and healthcare are all strong markets for us.  Any market that has a large proportion of non-desk workers are all ones where we see StaffConnect making a big impact.

Our ideal customer is any forward thinking modern enterprise. Our solution is “mobile-first” which means unlike enterprise social messaging tools, it does not require a corporate email address to set up a user. This makes it ideal for the billions of non-desk workers around the world – the baristas, the healthcare workers, the airline crews – that are often forgotten when it comes to receiving critical updates and accessing important corporate information. Our management console is designed to be able to segment users so that our customers can be very targeted in their communication strategy – delivering relevant updates and information to specific functional teams or regions. We also passionately believe that engagement has to be two-way traffic to really be effective – giving employees a voice is at the heart of what we do and many of our features have been created with this in mind – employee feedback is really important to our customers as well as encouraging employee generated content and content sharing.

How do you plan to address practical challenges?

How to scale and when to scale are the eternal challenges of the digital startup and these definitely apply to us.  But, we have some really smart sales, marketing and PR resources – both in house and via strategic partnerships.  Importantly, our GTM is designed to be easy for our customers – so we can work across multiple regions effectively.

Tell us about your business model. Where do you see yourselves in a year?

We are a mobile SaaS platform so retaining our customers as well as growing organically is key for us. We have experienced strong growth in our core markets of the UK and US, but we have also seen a big rise in customers from other regions around the world like Australia, Scandinavia and the Middle East. We are also experiencing growth in new markets, manufacturing, mining, construction, travel, non profit and healthcare are all strong markets for us.  Any market that has a large proportion of non-desk workers are all ones where we see StaffConnect making a big impact. The market for our product is still emerging and presents a huge opportunity for rapid and sustained growth. We have a strong product-market fit and continue to innovate based on feedback from our customers and our domain experts, so I am expecting growth to come from deeper penetration in our existing markets, demand from new regions and verticals, as well as growth within our existing customer base.

What are your plans to go global?  

We already have offices in US and UK and we have customers in every major region in the world.  We plan to continue to build on this. Its an exciting and emerging space and we have a lot of inbound interest from globally dispersed companies around the world that recognize the importance of engaging their entire workforce and creating strong employee experiences.

Tell us about your business model. Where do you see yourselves in a year?

We are a mobile SaaS platform so retaining our customers as well as growing organically is key for us. We have experienced strong growth in our core markets of the UK and US, but we have also seen a big rise in customers from other regions around the world like Australia, Scandinavia and the Middle East. We are also experiencing growth in new markets, manufacturing, mining, construction, travel, non profit and healthcare are all strong markets for us.  Any market that has a large proportion of non-desk workers are all ones where we see StaffConnect making a big impact. The market for our product is still emerging and presents a huge opportunity for rapid and sustained growth. We have a strong product-market fit and continue to innovate based on feedback from our customers and our domain experts, so I am expecting growth to come from deeper penetration in our existing markets, demand from new regions and verticals, as well as growth within our existing customer base.


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2 thoughts on “Startup of the Week: StaffConnect – based in the UK and US

  • Nicola Headey

    Hard to think of a definitive list of competitors? Who is Mr Osman trying to fool?
    Beekeeper
    The Employee App
    Emplify
    Workvine
    Staffbase
    To name just a few – all have raised significant funding.
    Naming trial/free contracts is also a little bit misleading.
    Those who know the business recognize it for what it is. A corporate sales guy who stumbled across what he thought was a good idea when running an app dev company – essentially borrowed one of his clients ideas and launched this business. The rest of the above is PR nonsense.