Grapple’s Jamie True raises $5m series A for new venture WorkAngel

BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie and advertising industry tycoon Jon Claydon to join board of directors

London-based employee reward and recognition platform WorkAngel, founded by Grapple’s Jamie True, has secured a $5m Series A funding round led by former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy.

MetaPack Ltd & Eagle Eye PLC chairman; Bob Willet, Bill Currie and Iain McDonald of William Currie Group, and Lord David Alliance also participated in the round.

Serial technology entrepreneur Jamie True founded the app in September 2013 after his last venture Grapple was acquired by Monitise for $50m in the same month. Work Angel offers cashback and discounts and more than, 1,200 online retailers, 6,000 UK restaurants, websites Groupon and Living Social and 25 major UK retailers Nike, M&S and House of Fraser.

Responding to research by Gallup that employee retention and morale is one of the single biggest issues that companies face, WorkAngel is a mobile-first, inter-company private social network allowing organisations to collaborate and implement a cost-effective system for driving performance and reward.

After the platform saw high levels of engagement and substantially increased levels of usage and redemption among several companies while operating in stealth mode for 12 months, it will launch in the UK in February with plans to launch in the US later in the year.

Commenting on the deal, True, said: “The voluntary benefits market has been unchallenged for over a decade. During that time technology has fundamentally re-written what can be achieved in the space.

“WorkAngel deploys the latest mobile technology to drive structural increases in the number of engaged, productive employees, offering a system of recognition and reward that’s both easy and incredibly cost-effective to implement and manage.”

“Disengaged employees are not only a problem for individual companies; research shows they’re now a problem for the whole economy. Engaged employees are self-evidently far more likely to drive innovation and growth, yet the voluntary benefits space has been unchallenged for years.

“We’ve found a high level of client disillusionment with existing solutions. Often there’s a scheme in place but staff simply aren’t using or engaging with it. That’s a huge missed opportunity.”

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