Recruitment & HRInvestment

Workforce technology startup Sona has raised £1.6m in a pre-seed round to accelerate the development and adoption of its app for employees that don’t typically work at a desk.

The round was led by early stage specialist venture capital firm Speedinvest, with participation from experienced angel investors including Andy Leaver from Notion Capital, Lorenzo Franzi from Flash Ventures and several partners from Novator Partners LLP.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs Ben Dixon, Oli Johnson and Steffen Wulff Petersen, the company’s mission is to put technology in the hands of frontline staff that transforms the way they manage their work and engage with their employer.

Many day-to-day people management tasks in sectors like healthcare, retail and hospitality and leisure are still either paper-based or haven’t been fully digitised.

By putting features including live schedule view, shift and holiday booking, and team messaging into a dedicated mobile app, Sona takes the friction out of these processes. The platform has been developed and deployed in partnership with a range of founder customers across the care, retail and voluntary sectors, including Colten Care and MHI UK ahead of a full product launch next month.

Markus Lang, Partner at Speedinvest, said: “When a world class team of repeat founders builds a well differentiated product in a huge, under-digitized market, it’s a no brainer to partner with them. We’re beyond excited to be on board and look forward to supporting them in building a category leader.”

Sona co-founder Johnson added: “80% of us don’t work at desks, but technology for deskless workers only attracts 1% of all enterprise software investment. On top of that, the software that is available is for companies to manage their frontline workforces. 

“Hardly anything has been specifically designed to benefit the frontline. We started Sona because we want every frontline employee to feel valued and have more flexibility and control at work. We’ve seen first hand how the right technology can be a huge lever to achieve that. 

“We couldn’t be more grateful for the support we’ve had from an amazing group of investors, customers and team members who share our vision and our excitement for the opportunity that lies ahead.”