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Brightfox Raises 11M for its HR Talent Experience Platform

first_imgBrightfox Raises $1.1M for its HR Talent Experience PlatformApril 23, 2019 by AlleyWatch 282SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin This talented leader who played formative roles in building modern HR functions for companies that include Amazon, Jet, Hugo Boss, and Oscar is venturing out on her own through the launch of Brightfox, the world’s first talent experience platform. Brightfox was founded by Deena Fox when she recognized that current HR software services were failing to create end-to-end experiences for employees; most catering to the needs of the employers. Unlike other HR SaaS solutions, Brightfox is built on a foundation that drives social interaction, thus encouraging employees to engage with each other. Additionally, this service helps build internal networks among employees that are based upon common interest and allows employees to engage the company in a direct and seamless way.AlleyWatch spoke with Fox to learn more about how Brightfox engages employees to build a culture of innovation and personal developmentWho were your investors and how much did you raise? To date, we’ve secured $1.1M in seed funding from corporate investors, including health insurance company Oscar, and friends and family.Tell us about the product or service that Brightfox offers.Brightfox is the world’s first talent experience platform, designed to optimize culture, engagement, and performance within the workplace. Most HR technology on the market today was designed with the company’s needs in mind and most products solve only a problem or two. They collect employee input so that the company can receive the resultant data and insights. While this is unquestionably a critical factor in any HR technology, Brightfox was designed to serve the company’s needs while also creating an end-to-end experience for employees. Brightfox enables people to take an active role in their own performance, development, and learning while creating a sense of community and belonging. The platform is built on a foundation that drives social interaction, so employees engage with each other, celebrate milestones together, build internal networks based on common interests, and have a direct link into the company to contribute to innovation, feedback, and culture overall.What inspired you to start Brightfox?For over two decades, I’ve led the HR function for some incredible companies in various stages of growth, including Amazon, Jet, Hugo Boss, and Oscar. What I experienced very consistently is that agnostic of size and industry, companies are essentially facing the same set of challenges related to company culture and employee engagement. Like many other HR professionals, I looked at the HR technology market for solutions. I found that the market lacks a unified platform that directly addresses the needs of both the company and the employees. HR departments find themselves implementing a number of different “point solutions” that were designed to solve a single or small set of problems—which is not only costly for companies but a fragmented and confusing experience for employees. I wanted to create the first talent experience platform, enabling companies to gather the valuable data and insights to evolve culture, while delivering a better user experience for employees, at a lower cost and administrative burden.How is Brightfox different?We designed Brightfox to support all critical milestones in the employment journey from onboarding through exit, with a curated set of features that allow people to play an active role in accelerating their own growth and development.It’s the first time that companies have the opportunity to select and implement a single, HR platform that provides data and insights necessary to evolve culture and drive better business performance at a fraction of the cost.It’s the first time that companies have the opportunity to select and implement a single, HR platform that provides data and insights necessary to evolve culture and drive better business performance at a fraction of the cost.What market does Brightfox target and how big is it?Brightfox targets the existing $20B HR technology market. Although there are countless HR solutions on the market today, we identified a substantial gap that wasn’t being addressed. While companies can easily find HR information systems, recruiting software, or niche point-solutions that address a problem or two, we’re carving out a new market category in HR tech—talent experience platforms, which solves a more complete set of challenges while creating a better user experience at a lower cost.What’s your business model?We are an enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) with a subscription model based on the number of users. We market and sell our product directly to HR professionals or other key executives within companies.Who do you admire in the startup world and why?I really admire Felix Gray, a startup that makes beautifully designed glasses engineered to filter blue light and eliminate glare. They’re essential for people like me that work at a computer for long periods of time. I wear them more than my sunglasses!What was the funding process like?Our funding process was very unusual. I was the Chief People Officer for Oscar when I first shared the concept and vision of Brightfox with Mario and Josh Kushner, co-founders of Oscar. Given the parallels between Oscar’s mission to create a better healthcare experience, and Brightfox’s vision to create a better employee experience, they expressed an immediate interest in helping the company get started with both seed funding and beta testing. We also opened up the seed round to other corporate investors in my network as well as friends and family.What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?Given how our seed round shaped up pretty organically through investors who were truly passionate about our mission and vision, I would say the challenges in raising capital are still ahead. We haven’t looked to institutional investors yet, although we’ve developed many relationships with Venture Capitalists that are interested in the HR technology space.What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?Our investors saw a clear gap in the HR market, specifically, a lack of technology broad enough to both create a talent experience and provide companies with the data and insights necessary to evolve culture, which Brightfox fills. This, combined with my HR experience in HR, led our investors to write the check.What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months? From a development standpoint, we’re focused on taking early adopter feedback to make technical enhancements to the product. From a business standpoint, we’re focused on new customer acquisition.What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?Don’t be afraid to turn to family, friends or colleagues who believe in your mission and vision to secure seed funding. Without the help of those around me, Brightfox would not be where it is today. Also, be prepared to prove your concept. The days of investors writing checks based on an idea written on a napkin are now rare.Where do you see the company going now over the near term?Our near-term goals are to offer Brightfox to companies of all sizes, across all industries, within the US market.What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?I really like the Mediterranean restaurant Pera in Soho. They have a great menu of small and large plates and a beautiful yet quiet ambiance which can be hard to find in the city.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Funded in the Alley, Funded in the Alley, Funding, Funding News, HR, Interviews, Startups, Venture Capitallast_img read more