Sona, a frontline workforce management platform, raises $27.5M with eyes on US expansion

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Sona, a workforce administration platform for frontline workers, has raised $27.5 million in a Sequence A spherical of funding.

Greater than two-thirds of the U.S. workforce are reportedly in frontline jobs, which may be something from customer support and healthcare to retail environments and hospitality. However managing this huge workforce, guaranteeing roles are stuffed and repair is delivered, is useful resource intensive. That’s the place Sona has been getting down to assist since its basis three years in the past.

“Sona intelligently deploys our clients’ largest price base — frontline labour,” Sona’s co-founder, Steffen Wulff Petersen, instructed everydayai. “This not solely optimises their price base, it additionally immediately drives extra income — you may’t promote meals or ship care with out workers being scheduled appropriately.”

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Based in London in 2021, Sona helps firms handle nearly each aspect of their frontline workforce, from shift scheduling, timesheets, and soliciting suggestions to absence administration and connecting with businesses to make sure shifts are coated throughout workers shortages.

Managers sometimes entry Sona through an online portal, whereas staff entry the platform through a cell app with which they’ll full timesheets, view obtainable shifts and talk with managers. Firms combine Sona with their inside programs to make sure all the information flows by and between the varied departments and stakeholders.

Sona in motion. Picture Credit: Sona
Picture Credit: Sona

As one would possibly anticipate this present day, Sona says it makes use of AI to automate most of the processes concerned in managing a workforce, together with optimizing rosters utilizing knowledge gleaned from staff’ contracts, reminiscent of their phrases of employment, working preferences and availability. So, much less time-consuming handbook admin is the secret.

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“Operating a enterprise with a big frontline workforce is primarily about guaranteeing the appropriate persons are in the appropriate place on the proper time,” Sona’s co-founder and CTO, Ben Dixon, instructed everydayai. “Sona turns into the central leaping off level for a big proportion of our clients’ operations, which implies we combine with practically all of their different programs — from care administration and point-of-sale, to single-sign-on and ERP (enterprise useful resource planning). It’s this deep degree of integration that facilitates our AI product, as a result of we’re the one system that may present a unified, real-time view of information throughout the entire enterprise.”

Moreover legacy gamers reminiscent of PeoplePlanner in social care and Selima in hospitality, there is no such thing as a scarcity of well-funded startups focusing on the same house to what Sona operates in — there’s ConnectTeam and Homebase for starters, the latter of which introduced a $60 million fundraise simply final month.

Petersen says that it’s getting down to differentiate from a minimum of a few of these firms by specializing in bigger enterprises, meshing “consumer-grade design” with options required by extra advanced multi-site operations.

“Most newer, VC-backed gamers within the workforce administration house are constructed for SMBs, with a simple and easy self-signup product,” Petersen instructed everydayai. “That’s an amazing method for small companies with 1-10 websites, and there’s thousands and thousands of these companies to focus on. We hardly ever cross paths with the SMB distributors as a result of enterprise clients want the other product — one which handles deep complexity.”

Certainly, Sona’s pitch isn’t that it’s fast to deploy: Petersen states that the demo alone takes three hours, and implementation takes extra like a number of months. “Suppose Salesforce versus Pipedrive,” Petersen stated. “We cross leads on to among the SMB distributors when clients don’t meet our enterprise standards.”

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Sona is at present dwell throughout the social care and hospitality industries within the U.Okay., the place it counts the likes of Gleneagles and Estelle Manor as clients. With one other $27.5 million within the financial institution, the corporate is now gearing as much as develop additional afield — and a clue to its goal markets lie in its new lead investor.

The Sequence A spherical was led by Menlo Park-based VC agency Felicis, which has beforehand exited investments like Ring to Amazon, Fitbit to Google, and publicly-traded Shopify. Different notable backers embody Google’s Gradient Ventures, which led Sona’s seed spherical two years in the past. Antler, SpeedInvest, Northzone and Bag Ventures additionally participated within the newest spherical.

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Sona has now raised north of $40 million since its inception, and the corporate stated it should use its contemporary money injection to “construct extra superior AI capabilities” and speed up its worldwide plans, which can embody its first U.S. foray.

“The U.S. will likely be an vital marketplace for Sona. We now have each Felicis and Gradient onboard, have employed our first two US primarily based workers, and have signed our first six-figure Alpha buyer,” Petersen stated.

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