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Sona raises a $7M seed round led by Gradient Ventures

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by Startacus Admin


Sona, the ‘People Operating System’ for deskless workers, secures major investment to support further growth and expansion.

1080x360We've been huge fans of innovative London-based startup Sona, for a while now and were delighted when Ben Dixon, Sona's Co-founder and CTO joined us at our Work: In Progress event late last year and shared all sorts of insights on workplace innovation. So we're thrilled to share the news of their successful $6.8M seed round, which was led by Google’s Gradient Ventures and comes just four months after the company’s pre-seed raise!

Sona is an all-purpose ‘people operating system’ providing deskless workers with an easy-to-use platform for managing everything work-related.  It combines the power of modern workforce management software with a user experience that simplifies and centralises everyday work tasks for frontline workers, who typically spend most of their working hours away from a desk.

Created for industries that employ deskless shift-based staff - such as health and social care, retail, hospitality, and the voluntary sector - Sona lets employees access vital functions such as scheduling, shift allocations, attendance records, and one-to-one and one-to-many communication with a tap.

In just six months, the company has built and launched its platform to an early set of customers, covering over 10,000 deskless workers within the UK and Ireland, going from pre-revenue to six-figure ARR since incorporating in July 2021.

The London-based startup has now raised an aggregate of $9M since August 2021. It will use the investment to triple its team, with a particular focus on engineering and product development, and to continue its strong growth trajectory.

Screenshot Although they make up 80% of the global workforce (over 2.7 billion people), deskless workers have been significantly underserved, with just 1% of funding for enterprise software dedicated to developing technology for employees in frontline jobs. The COVID-19 pandemic is restructuring the labour market and changing attitudes towards frontline work, accelerating the pace of digital transformation in all areas, including people operations.

Many work tasks typically involve multiple disconnected systems and manual processes (often including WhatsApp groups and paper chains). By consolidating them, Sona is helping companies reduce staffing agency spending by 35%, fill 70% of available shifts within 24 hours, and save managers an estimated five hours a week.

Founded by repeat founders Oli Johnson (Harvard Business School MBA graduate), Steffen Wulff Petersen (ex HelloFresh, Payleven/Sumup and Lazada) and Ben Dixon (CTO), the company currently employs 18 people across ten countries.

Oli Johnson, Co-founder of Sona, comments: “The technology gap between desk-based and deskless workers is set to close rapidly over the next decade. We believe that the growth of dedicated software for frontline staff will have the same transformative effect as the SaaS revolution had in desk-based work, and we want to be at the forefront of that movement. We’re beyond elated to have the support of world-class investors and customers who share our passion for transforming the world of deskless work.”

"Workforce management systems were designed for white-collar industries. As a result, these tools ignore a vital part of society – the frontline worker," said Asif Moosani, Investor at Gradient Ventures. "Scheduling, shift management, and surrounding communications are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Great Resignation. Steffen and his team empower frontline workers by simplifying their workflows. We're excited to back Sona as they bring this ecosystem into the digital age."




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Published on: 31st March 2022

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