Sona, a London-based startup, recently raised almost GBP 6 million for its people operating system targeted at frontline workers and workers without a desk.
The funding raised will go towards enhancing the app it has developed for deskless workers. This was its’ second funding round in just four months, and the round was led by Google’s Gradient Ventures. Several other prominent angel investors participated in the round.
Sona was founded in 2021, and combines the power of contemporary workforce management software with a unique user experience that centralizes and simplifies daily tasks for frontline workers, many of whom do not have a dedicated workspace, or spend most of their time away from the desk. The app has been specifically designed for sectors like healthcare, hospitality, retail and the volunteering sector, all of which have been typically underserved by innovative technology.
Using the app, users can access important data and functions like shift management, scheduling, attendance and communications with just a touch on the app.
Investor at Gradient Ventures, Asif Moosani, said that traditional workforce management systems were designed for the white-collar sector and ignored the frontline workers. The tools offered on the app were just the tip of the iceberg, he added.
The London-based startup has been working at a fast pace. In just 6 months Sona has built and launched the platform to an early set of customers, covering over ten thousand deskless workers within the UK and Ireland.
Although frontline workers comprise almost 80 percent of the workforce, only 1 percent of enterprise software has been dedicated to this sector. With accelerating digital transformation, Sona feels that there are changing attitudes to frontline workers, and how to manage operations better is becoming a priority.
One of the co-founders of Sona, Oli Johnson, said that the technology gap between desk-based and deskless workers will close rapidly over the next decade. He also said that Sona believes that the growth of dedicated software and technology for frontline staff will have the same transformative effect for the industry as SaaS did for desk-based work. He stated that Sona wishes to be at the forefront of the revolution and transform the way frontline workers work.
With its cutting-edge technology, Sona claims to be saving time and money for frontline workers and managers. By consolidating many disconnected systems, paper chains, WhatsApp groups and other manual processes, Sona claims to reduce agency spending by up to 35 percent, save managers up to five hours a week, and fill 70 percent of available shifts within 24 hours.
Sona to increase manpower with new round of funding
Sona has been founded by Oli Johnson, a Harvard Business School MBA graduate, Steffen Wulff Petersen, and Ben Dixon ( CTO). Currently, the company employs 18 people across ten countries. With the new round of funding, the company aims to triple it’s team strength and focus on engineering and product development.
According to Aidan Daly, Director of HR at Praxis care, Sona will revolutionize the way that his company handles rosters, and will provide employees with visibility and control over the shifts they prefer. He said that with the product, employees can choose the kind of work they wish to undertake, all from the convenience of their mobile.
Existing investors in the fast-growing startup include Monzo founder Tom Blomfield, early-stage VC Speedinvest, Andy Leaver (Operating Partner at Notion Capital), Lorenzo Franzi (Partner at Flash Ventures), and several partners from Novator Partners. In addition, Asif Moosani (Investor at Gradient Ventures) and Markus Lang (Partner at Speedinvest) are joining Sona’s board. Meanwhile, the angel investors that participated include Anthony Danon (Partner at Cocoa), Maximilian Bittner (CEO at Vestiaire Collective), Graham Paterson (Product Partner at Connect Ventures), Andrej-Nicolai Henkler (CEO at Leblon Capital), Invested (Anna Brandt and Noor van Boven), and Sri Pangulur.