<p id="speakable-summary">Berlin-based language learning service <a href="https://www.babbel.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Babbel</a>
is the latest company attracting capital for its app targeting shift or frontline worker success as more businesses rightly begin to see how valuable these employees are to their bottom line and how technology can ensure these key employees are empowered to help the company grow.
The Portland, Oregon-based company, which has its tech team in New Zealand, began developing its SaaS customer experience management tools in 2014 for businesses that rely on humans, co-founder and CEO Aaron Ward told TechCrunch. The tools pull in Net Promoter Score, workflow, recognition and feedback, coaching and insights so that businesses can lead from their frontline workers.
“Historically, we’ve been taught that businesses are top down, but what we know is that the signal often gets lost,” he added. “The ‘magic’ is to make those signals always on and for the practice of sharing feedback and delivering coaching are daily things, not just those that happen once a quarter or once a month.”
Today, the company announced a $32 million Series B round of funding that was led by Five Elms Capital, with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Blackbird. Five Elms’ Ryan Mandl is joining AskNicely’s board as part of the funding.
The new capital gives AskNicely a total of $47 million in fundraising. It previously raised its Series A in January 2019, and Ward said the driver for going after additional capital was in part the global pandemic. Many of its service business customers shut their doors as a result, and the company was contemplating if it was time to pivot. Instead, AskNicely doubled down on its mission and took the down time during the pandemic to invest in the product and its marketing, he added.
Those efforts paid off for the company, and Ward was able to take those early results to the capital markets, which recognized this as new technology for a class of workers largely ignored previously by technology, he said.
Ward believes that taking that time to focus on the company gives AskNicely a headstart on the rest of the market.