Weekly10: Entering the Start-Up Series was quick, simple and transparent
Weekly10 founder Andrew Roberts says the business is on track to become the world's preeminent employee engagement tool after making key hires with Start-Up Series investment
Founder: Andrew Roberts
Description: Employee engagement platform
Can you tell me a bit about your business background?
“I have spent the last 15 years working across a range of industries with a focus on software and product development. Having graduated in computer science from Warwick University I spent seven years working at Deutsche Bank in London as a software engineer and project manager.
“Since then I have led software teams at The Hut Group, TE Connectivity and CommScope. In my most recent role I was head of strategic software engineering at CommScope where I led a global team focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
Where did the idea for the business come from? Was there a moment or experience that made you feel a need for it?
“Weekly10 originated from my frustration with ‘traditional’ approaches to people management in large corporate organisations. Typically, managers and employees would participate in annual performance reviews and employee surveys. I found both of these processes ineffective ways to motivate and engage staff with organisational goals and strategy, furthermore they were often disruptive and time-consuming and seen as nothing more than tick box exercises by the majority of staff.
“In my management role I began experimenting with approaches to allow employees to reflect and align their goals as well as celebrate success and share challenges. I started using a ‘weekly’ check-in via a calendar invite and found my staff were providing information and feedback that you just wouldn’t get from a performance review, survey or one to one.
“This was the basis of my ‘Weekly10’ idea – 10 minutes every week for employees to reflect and share details of their week, whilst at the same time focusing on the next.”
What is the business’ USP?
“Weekly10 is an employee engagement platform designed to increase the motivation, performance and well-being of staff. Weekly10 has three key USPs when compared to other employee engagement platforms:
“Firstly, Weekly10 is focused around a simple feedback ‘process’ which is easily accessible via web, mobile or workplace platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams – we want Weekly10 to be enjoyable to use, not a time-consuming task.
“Secondly, Weekly10 is based around transparent feedback between employees and managers. Evidence shows a weekly catch-up is the most effective way to exchange feedback, and by removing anonymity, managers are empowered to build a better workplace culture through embedding constructive feedback as part of the everyday conversations.
“And finally, because Weekly10 is a continuous feedback and goal setting tool we are able to gather real-time insight for management on the health of their organisation. Our analytics platform uses Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to estimate workplace sentiment and provide trend and predictive analytics of employee well-being and performance.”
Why did you enter the Start-Up Series competition?
“The format and approach of the competition really appealed to us. The initial application was straightforward, and the timeline and process were transparent, something which was not the case with some of other competitions we looked into. It was also great to know that regardless of the end result we would receive detailed constructive feedback on our application.”
How did you find the application process?
“We found the application process quick and simple. The initial round was basic information which was all covered in our standard pitch deck. The later rounds required much more detail, but all of this was readily available in our business plan – and the process allowed a great deal flexibility in the way we provided the information.”
How did you find the ‘deep dive’ with Worth Capital?
“Our deep dive with Paul and Matthew was a highlight of the competition for us. During the four hour meeting not only did Paul and Matthew get a good understanding of the business, we received detailed feedback and insight based on their extensive business experience. Co-founder Alistair and I came away with some great ideas on how we could refine both the product and our business model, which regardless of whether we won the competition would give the business a real boost.”
How do you feel about winning the competition?
“Winning the Start-Up Series felt great – after the deep-dive discussion with Paul and Matthew we were really motivated to work on some of the ideas generated during the meeting – so we were keen to get started! It was also great validation for our young business that we had come through a fiercely competitive competition and received the backing of such an experienced team.”
A lot of businesses entered – what do you think made your business stand out and win?
“When we started Weekly10, we made a number of decisions which help differentiate our product from competitors. Our approach to transparency is a shift away from traditional anonymous feedback which has really resonated with a growing market. We believed this, combined with the fact we had a platform ready to go offered an attractive proposition to investors.”
What stage is the business at currently?
“Weekly10 is now scaling up following investment. Since the beginning of 2019 we have grown our customer base significantly and added customers from the legal, finance, manufacturing and professional services sectors. We have recently signed up our first customers in mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the US and are attracting customers from competitors in the employee engagement sector.
“As well as scaling up our targeted marketing activities we are rapidly developing the product to further enhance our analytics and machine learning offerings to complement our core platform.”
What do you plan to use the Start-Up Series investment for?
“We have already hired two new staff off the back of the funding including a head of people science and senior software engineer. The funding, access to Matthew’s network and advice has really brought forward the growth of the business and has allowed me to scale my own activities and focus on growing the business.”
Finally, what’s your ultimate vision for the business?
“Weekly10 can become one of the world’s preeminent employee engagement tools. Combining a habitual process with detailed insight helps employees engage with their organisation whilst providing management with real insight into employee well-being and motivation.”
The Start-Up Series is open from the 1st to 14th of every month, giving one startup the chance to between £150,000 and £250,000 of equity funding.