Staffbase, the mobile-first employee communication and ‘experience’ platform, raises $23M Series C

Staffbase, a mobile-first platform that enables employees to communicate, access work-related services and stay updated with company information, has raised $23 million in Series C funding.

The investment is led by Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors, Capnamic Ventures, and Kizoo Technology Capital. It brings total raised by Staffbase to $35 million since it was founded in 2014.

Founded in Chemnitz, Germany, and now with more than 200 employees across 7 locations, including a HQ in New York, Staffbase is an app and platform designed to wean employees off email for a range of communication, information and internal company processes. It initially targeted distributed and mobile workforces but has since broadened out to include desktop support, too.

“Successful companies today understand that their most valuable resource is their employees’ time and motivation,” says Staffbase co-founder and CEO Dr. Martin Böhringer. “Despite this, the experience provided to them when interacting with company news, searching for information in an intranet, or using HR services is often frustrating and disjointed. The experience tends to be even worse for workers without access to company computers or corporate email addresses, which makes up about 70% of the workforce today”.

To remedy this, Böhringer says Staffbase is technology that’s about “putting people first at work”. The platform creates one place for employees to go for access to everything they need to get their jobs done and also find further help when they need it.

“For us, people-first also means communications-first; we believe communications is the heart of employee experience,” he says. “Our solution is first and foremost an employee communication platform, because it’s not fun to work at a place where you don’t know what’s going on”. The platform also integrates with HR platforms and Office 365.

“We’re also big believers in equal access to positive experiences,” adds Böhringer. “Our platform was first developed as a mobile app with non-desk employees in mind, and over time we have taken the user experience we saw working there and applied it to build a sophisticated desktop experience as well. Because we developed mobile first and with normal people in mind, the whole platform is easy to use — end users don’t require any training to get started”.

Teddie Wardi, Managing Director at Insight Partners, says that Staffbase has created a “simple and flexible” mobile front end layer that can be designed around the employee journey. “They discovered that employee communication plays a crucial role for a people-first workplace and belongs at the heart of the employee experience,” he says. “We were particularly impressed with the high customer satisfaction and usage rates that Staffbase achieves with its customers”.

“We have customers located across the globe and in many different industries, but if we had to pick a common adjective it would be people-driven,” adds Böhringer. “Each of our customers has made it a priority to have an engaged workforce that understands the company’s purpose and doesn’t have to struggle to get access to company updates and services. Many of our customers have a large proportion of non-desk workers at distributed locations who would be disconnected without an app. DHL is a great Staffbase customer example. They are rolling out to more than 350,000 employees across hundreds of locations in over 200 countries”.

To that end, Böhringer says that Staffbase disrupts classic top-down intranets, most notably Microsoft SharePoint and the plethora of communications tools that come with Office 365. He argues that these tools are targeted at desktop and knowledge workers and often require training to understand when and where each one should be used.

“Our customers are trying to offer their employees simplicity and coherence; we set ourselves apart in this way and see much better reach and higher levels of engagement because of it,” he says.