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WorkHound snags $1.5 million in seed funding

The platform aims to reduce driver turnover by providing real-time feedback from frontline workers.

WorkHound, an employee feedback and retention platform, has completed a fundraising seed round of $1.5 million. The capital will be used to add to the company’s technology team headcount and support its growth deeper into the logistics space and additional industries.

“To date, we’ve been fortunate to fuel WorkHound growth primarily with our revenues,” said co-founder and CEO Max Farrell. “But as we eye an aggressive expansion into new industries, as well as building out our transportation and supply chain presence, raising a substantial seed round became imperative for us. This capital will enable us to hire more top-notch talent who will power us into the next phase of our company.”

Launched in 2015 by Farrell and CTO Andrew Kirpalani, the WorkHound platform enables employers to receive instant and anonymous workforce feedback so management can address those matters as part of their employee retention efforts.

After a company is onboarded, the platform prompts drivers via a text message to click on a link that takes them to a site featuring open-ended questions about the workplace.

“We ask workers to share how they feel about work and why – tell us the good, the bad, the ugly, and we get all three,” Farrell told FreightWaves. “Once they click, it’s a 90-second workflow.”

The platform avoids the problem of bias inherent to most employee surveys, said Farrell, allowing workers to fill in management blind spots.

“It’s just getting to the core of what we want as people,” said Farrell. “We want to be heard and then simplifying the process.”

Initially, the company focused on the trucking space since driver turnover is a pain point experienced across that industry. However, as WorkHound grows, leadership is eyeing a rollout into additional sectors, such as non-hospital healthcare, that feature large distributed workforces.

Companies that get the best use from the platform deploy the feedback as ”operational intelligence,” Farrell said. WorkHound mines the responses for patterns, tagging the employee sentiments based on location and whether they are positive, negative or neutral.

Since the company’s last formal fundraise in 2016, WorkHound has grown revenue 20x, Farrell said. The company employs 12 in its Chattanooga and Iowa offices, with plans to double that and more this year. Over 20,000 workers are on its platform.

The new round was led by San Francisco-based Right Side Capital Management, and included other funds such as Cleveland, Ohio-based Comeback Capital.

“We’re very excited about WorkHound because employee retention is such a pertinent issue in today’s work environment,” said David Lambert, managing director of Right Side Capital Management, in a statement. “Their customers are seeing dramatic reductions in employee turnover, which of course goes straight to their bottom lines. We believe the WorkHound product is relevant to any industry that has high-skilled employees in high turnover positions.”

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Linda Baker, Staff Writer

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves staff reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes early-stage VC, freight-tech, mobility and West Coast emissions regulations.

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