Slack has set the standard in many ways for what knowledge workers want and expect from workplace collaboration apps these days, but a lot is left on the table when it comes to frontline workers. Today, one of the software companies that created a popular app for that frontline crowd to be part of the conversation is announcing a funding round that talks about an opportunity to do more.
yobic, which provides an app for frontline and service workers to manage, communicate with and manage tasks, and also undergo training, development and other e-learning tasks, has raised $50 million.
Highland Europe led the round, a Series C, in which a family office mentored by previous investors Felix Capital, Insight Partners and BNF Capital Ltd was also participating. (Felix led Yobik’s Series A, while Insight Partners led Series B in 2019.) Yobik isn’t discussing valuation, but from what I understand from a reliable source, it’s now $300 million and $300 million 400 million in between.
The funding comes at a time of strong growth for the company.
Yoobic works with nearly 300 large brands in 80 countries, covering 335,000 locations across sectors such as retail, hospitality, distribution and manufacturing. Its customers include Boots Pharmacy Chain, Carrefour Supermarket, Lancme, Lacoste, Logitech, Lidl, Peloton, Puma, Vans, VF Corp, Sanofi, Untkit, Roots, Canada Goose, Longchamp, Lidl, Zadig and Voltaire, and Athletico.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. its an estimate There are 2.7 billion “deskless” (frontline and service) workers globally, accounting for no less than 80% of the world’s workforce. But the shocking thing here is that currently only 1% of the IT budget is spent on them. It speaks of huge opportunity for startups to build more here, but only if they (or the workers themselves) can manage to convince those holding the purse strings that it’s worth the investment.
So to that end, the money will be used to hire more talent, to expand geographically – founded in London, the company is now headquartered in New York – and to expand its product range. Specifically, Yobik plans to build more tools to improve responsiveness and make companies more aware of their use, and to enable specific verticals in the world of frontline work such as manufacturing, logistics and transportation, Fabrice Hatt. There is more equipment to be built to accomplish that. , CEO and co-founder of YOOBIC told Nerdshala in an interview.
Yobik started life several years ago with a focus exclusively on retail – an area it was focusing on as recently as its final round in 2019, tools to help with merchandising. Provides, communicates about stock between stores and more. While retail is still a large part of its business, Yobik saw an opening to expand into a wider pool of workspaces with frontline and service employees who had many of the same demands as retail.
It turned out to be a lucky pivot as the pandemic hit.
“Covid-19 had a big impact on us,” said Hayat, who co-founded the company with brothers Avi and Giles. “The first two months we were in panic mode. But what happened is that businesses realized that frontline workers were critical to the success of their operations.”
Since Covid hit last year, he said activity on the platform increased by 200%, and earlier this year it passed 1 million activities per month on his platform. “We’re growing like crazy,” Hait said.
There are many reasons why building is important to frontline workers. Moving around without a fixed desk, viewing screens or spending more time with customers in meetings, and generally having different business preferences and practices are just some of the reasons why software designed for the former may not necessarily work for the latter.
There have been many companies that have aimed to build services to bridge that gap – they’ve actually gone back years. And there have been some interesting moves to consolidate in the market among some of the more successful tool makers for people in the field: Crew Recently Square. acquired by; ServiceMax acquires Zinc; And Facebook’s Workplace is on a march with a strong play to outdo some of the world’s biggest companies as customers of its own communications platform.
Hatt argues that although these are all well and fine, none of them understand the full scope of the equipment that is actually needed in the field. This ranges from practical features (such as a way to handle inventory management) to features that companies would prefer for their employees as long as they can be delivered in an easy way (such as professional development and training). In that context, the basic communications that the all-current crop of apps for frontline workers provide feels like a basic tablet.
A deep understanding of the gap in the market and what is needed to fix it is one of the reasons why the company has seen such strong growth, as well as interest from investors.
“We are excited to partner with YOOBIC to clearly position ourselves as a leader in the digital workplace space with market performance and impressive growth, thanks to a highly influential team led by Fabrice, Avi and Giles. has been established.” Jean Tardy-Joubert, partner at Highland Europe, said in a statement. “While companies have historically focused on digital investments for deskbound employees, the world is becoming distributed and decentralized. We anticipate a seismic shift that sees vast resources, technology and capital shifting toward frontline teams. Will see.” Tardy-Joubert will join the YOOBIC board with this round.