As companies implement new tools for working remotely, it is becoming increasingly difficult for their employees to track and manage information in internal services. It’s not just top executives who are having trouble, but lower-level employees also have to contend with a growing catalog of employers’ apps. According to Statista, the average business uses 110 software as a service applications today, up from eight in 2015. Coveo found as a result, in 2022, workers spend just over 3 hours a day searching for information, an hour more than a year ago.
If you ask Perttu Ojansuu, the answer is a company-specific intranet or digital portal that centralizes most enterprise software and documentation in one place. Ojansuu admits his bias – he’s a co-founder Happeo, a startup developing an intranet program to connect employees to company tools. But Ojansuu says his opinion was shaped by his experience working with clients at Gapps, the Finnish Google Workspace reseller he co-founded in 2010.
“[With Gapps,] co-founder Antero Khanhirova and I saw a great opportunity to help enterprise companies in the Nordic countries with their cloud transformation,” Ojansuu said in a recent interview with TechCrunch. “While working with Gapps, we identified a major and ongoing problem that our clients faced: there was no central source of trustworthy information that could be easily integrated with other software as a service tools… In 2016 was born because of this customer problems, we decided to create a complete solution for our customers.”
Ojansuu and Khanhirova launched Happeothe first incarnation of “Universe” in early 2016. In 2017, they officially registered the company. Happeo has raised $47 million in venture capital to date, including a $26 million Series B round led by Endeit Capital, Smartfin and Evli Growth Partners, which closed today. (Inkef Capital, Maki.vc and Vendep Capital also participated in Series B.)
Happeo is committed to bringing teams and people together in an “organic way”. Ojansuu says allowing them to create channels and pages around projects and common interests. The platform consolidates resources and applications into a searchable home portal and a launcher that allows employees to navigate to other software.
Happeo’s “federated search” feature allows you to search across various internal company tools. In addition, the service, which integrates with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, offers a place to host shared files and documents. The analytics dashboard displays metrics such as channel, page, and post engagement, as well as search activity (such as top keywords).
“As tech companies grow rapidly, they don’t have time to build processes – the result is information chaos, resulting in lower productivity and poor employee experience.” Ojansuu explained via email Q&A. “This is where Happeo comes in… [It] removes the burden of sharing important updates from instant messaging tools so teams can get back to using them to collaborate instead of being overwhelmed with information.”
Intranet platforms are hardly new—in one form or another, they have been around for decades. And there are many competitors in space, including Google as well as Microsoft. Last July Simplified raised $32 million for its intranet site building tools. Most recently (March) headquarters base received $115 million at a $1.1 billion valuation to expand its intranet-style communications platform.
It’s worth noting that the large funding rounds are partly a reflection of venture capitalists’ enthusiasm for HR tech in general. 2021 turned out to be a record year for HR technology providers by investing approximately $14 billion in over 300 deals.
One of the hurdles Happeo needs to overcome is the notion that intranet services are not particularly useful – or enjoyable – from a user’s point of view. One interview found that only 13% of employees use their intranets on a daily basis, and 31% admit to never using them. Research work The main culprits are outdated or irrelevant content and lack of management involvement, as well as the lack of a clear goal.
But Ojansuu claims that Happeo’s is more holistic than most.
“Work is no longer a place where employees come together, share knowledge, exchange ideas with each other, communicate and build trust and bonds. Ordinary offices and talk of water coolers are gone. The workers took all this general information with us to the home office.” Ojansuu told TechCrunch. “Currently, employee experience is at the center of the HR technology market… [E]Everyone wants to create a “layer of experience” that sits in front of employees. Happeo actively addresses this issue by becoming a central source of truth for companies to access all their information.”
Ojansuu says – for what it’s worth – the promotional presentation convinced Rajiv Suri, the former Nokia CEO, to make his first angel investment in the Finnish company. It probably helped Before Series B closed, Happeo had over 366 clients including Pinterest, Decathlon and Marqeta.
“Problems Happeo Decisions are critical to business success, and their relevance to companies is high in times of economic downturn as well as in times of growth. Because of this, Happeo expects no impact on its expected growth. The second quarter of 2022 was a record quarter [for the company]” Ojansuu said. “Having just completed the Series B round, we are in an excellent position with many openings, especially in technology and sales.”
Soon, Ojansuu says he plans to invest in Happeo product development, with a focus on adding new apps and service integrations. Further expansion in North America is in the works, which will affect Happeo’s sales and customer service teams in New York.
Happeo currently has 124 employees and is expected to have 160 by the end of the year.
Credit: techcrunch.com /