Sona, a workforce management platform for sectors including hospitality, has raised £22 million in a Series A round of funding.

The London firm, founded by Steffen Wulff Petersen, Oli Johnson and Ben Dixon, has seen 4.6m shifts created on its platform to date. In 2023 alone, Sona experienced an explosive 400%+ revenue growth. 

Felicis led the financing with participation from Northzone, Google’s AI-fund Gradient, SpeedInvest, Antler, BAG Ventures and numerous angels.

It will use the fresh capital to expand its go-to-market function and build more advanced AI capabilities on its platform. 

The frontline workforce represents nearly 2 billion people worldwide. In spite of this, frontline innovations have received <1% of VC funding, with 99% of venture investment deployed in technology for white-collar staff. 

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“With Sona, we’re building the ‘self-driving car’ of running a restaurant or a care home,” said Petersen. “The last 20 years of workforce management was dominated by legacy point solutions that digitised simple paper processes.

“Sona is building the next generation of WFM with a truly intelligent platform that enables organisational leaders in complex, multi-location enterprises to put the right people, in the right place, at the right time; and to seamlessly manage their workforce end-to-end.”

Since 2020, frontline enterprises have faced multiple external headwinds: inflationary forces, demand volatility, and staff shortages. These businesses already operate with low single-digit margins and labour mismanagement remains the single biggest, and controllable, cost.

Sona’s industry-specific software includes AI acceleration, accurate forecasting, data-driven productivity models and automated scheduling.

“It’s great to see Sona provide an industry-leading solution for such a critical area for hospitality. Having been involved with ever-evolving workforce management platforms for nearly ten years, the results seen with Sona are impressive – from smart AI-enabled dynamic forecasting to auto-scheduling and, importantly, employee preferences and a slick ‘consumer grade’ app for ease of use,” said David Campbell, a seasoned executive of numerous hospitality businesses including wagamama, PizzaExpress and The Ivy Collection.

“Quite rightly, hospitality businesses are driving productivity and efficiency while building customer service – Sona has demonstrated the ability to help grow sales and optimise staffing.”

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