SocialCrowd Raises $1.6M in Pre-Seed as VC Interest in Workplace Software Remains High


Performance management startup Social Crowd has raised a $1.6 million pre-seed round led by Bread and Butter Ventures, TechCrunch has exclusively learned.

Launched in 2020, SocialCrowd is a SaaS platform that provides performance management software, allowing businesses to set goals for their employees and reward them when they are achieved. Speaking to TechCrunch, SocialCrowd co-founder Raphael Akinsipe compared his product to Fitbit, but for work.

According to Akinsipe, a client can set up incentive campaigns with specific goals, and SocialCrowd then tracks the client’s employee performance in real time by connecting to existing productivity applications. SocialCrowd then sends reminders to employees to meet their goals, and when goals are met, workers receive points that they can redeem for gift cards or personalized rewards, like time off.

He said SocialCrowd had seen increased attention as businesses struggled to manage the shift to remote working. “Many of our clients have large blue-collar teams; their staff were unable to transition to remote work during or after the pandemic,” Akinsipe said. “Many of these companies have struggled to retain staff, which has created even greater demand for solutions that drive employee retention and increased productivity. »

Working software remains a positive point for investors, even despite the economic slowdown. The possibility of a link between increased productivity of working software and increased ROI is attractive to investors, who are also attracted by the fact that companies tend to spend money on software working even when the economy deteriorates.

However, Akinsipe said fundraising was a marathon for his business. It took him about nine months to raise that round, and he met most of his major investors through referrals. “Last year was a tough time to harvest for everyone,” he said. “There were tons of ‘Nos’ and even more ‘Not at this time,’ so it took a lot of endurance and creativity to close the entire cycle.”

VC 414, Serac Ventures and Gala Capital Partners also participated in the funding round. SocialCrowd will use the pre-seed money to expand its team and focus on customer acquisition.

Mary Grove, managing partner at Bread and Butter, said the company liked SocialCrowd’s consumer-first approach and employee focus. « Comments from [the company’s] Current customers make us excited that this platform is a win-win for both employers and frontline workers within these organizations,” she told TechCrunch. “We support an incredibly smart team that is deeply versed in enterprise SaaS and builds with a product-first mindset.”

“I envision a future where our platform provides more than just incentives and rewards, but truly serves as a tool for employee growth and business understanding,” Akinsipe said.

Akinsipe and his co-founder Paul Doran first met at university as roommates. Together, they launched a hardware startup that raised a small amount, but failed to exit. “From that point on, we knew we would continue on the path of entrepreneurship,” Akinsipe said.

The duo went on to launch a few startups, including web design company Glow Station and website management service Just Media Studios. Akinsipe also held positions at Google, as well as Casetabs, which sold to Bain Capital.


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