A few years ago, a startup called TinyPulse launched to change the way employee reviews were done. Based on the promise of weekly, one-question surveys, the company has grown to more than 20 employees and just raised $3.5 million in Series A funding.
The funding was led by Baseline Ventures, with former eBay, Microsoft, and Starbucks executive (and Baseline founder) Steve Anderson joining the board. Also participating was Michael Dearing’s Harrison Metal, along with other investors.
TinyPulse was founded in 2012 to help companies track employee happiness and productivity within the organization. Rather than asking employees to answer a long survey or questionnaire annually or semi-annually, TinyPulse sends them an email with a single question each week.
Because the barrier to answering each one-question survey is so low, companies see relatively high response rates among employees each week, giving them the ability to instantly keep tabs on employee happiness. The answers to those questions also provide a more accurate representation of how that environment changes over time and how it compares to other employers.
In addition to answering the one question a week, employees are also able to nominate their peers for recognition each week, and also to make suggestions about how workplaces can improve. Since feedback is anonymous and immediate, employers can more readily respond to issues, rather than waiting for yearly review periods to recognize when there are problems.
As TinyPulse has added new customers, it’s also managed to collect a huge amount of data on how employees in different workplaces respond to questions each week. According to founder and CEO David Niu, the company now has more than 500 clients, which include companies like HubSpot, Deloitte, StitchFix, and Converse.
Until now, most of those clients have come to TinyPulse via word-of-mouth. But with the new funding, TinyPulse will be ramping up its sales efforts to bring more customers on board. It will also be investing in product development to add more features for its clients.
Although TinyPulse is always looking for ways to improve the experience for client, Niu says it’s important that the company stay focused on keeping the interaction with employees lightweight, easy, and approachable. At the same time, he believes there are ways to make the product more flexible and customizable for employers.
But hey, that’s what you can do when you get $3.5 million in funding after bootstrapping for two years.