Zurich-based Beekeeper is the creator of an operational communications platform and app for non-desk workers, which has been dubbed the ‘Slack for non-desk employees’. The platform is designed for organisations where more than 50% of the workforce are not otherwise connected on email or company devices. It currently counts Hyatt Hotels, Exclusive Hotels and Heathrow Airport among its clients.
With more than 1.7 billion non-desk workers globally completely disconnected, or poorly connected to their jobs through a patchwork of consumer and enterprise applications, Beekeeper offers a solution to integrate multiple channels in one secure hub that is accessible by employers and employees from both desktop and mobile devices.
Founded in 2012, Beekeeper has now raised €41 million in Series B financing as it accelerates the adoption of its platform. The round was co-led by Thayer Ventures and Swisscanto Invest by Zürcher Kantonalbank, with participation from prior investors including Atomico, Alpana Ventures, Edenred Capital Partners, Fyrfly, Hammer Team, investiere, HighSage Ventures, Keen Venture Partners, Samsung NEXT, Swiss Post and Swisscom. The startup previously raised $8 million in a Series A round in 2017.
“Given the pace of workplace digitisation and the unique demands of frontline workers, businesses have struggled to find a mobile-first platform built specifically to meet the complexities of a non-desk workforce,” said Beekeeper’s co-founder and CEO, Dr Cristian Grossmann. “Consumer apps are not the answer, and knowledge-worker apps such as those offered by Slack and Microsoft don’t cover the needs of frontline workers. Beekeeper provides a purpose-built one-stop platform to help organisations streamline business processes and collaboration with their frontline employees across shifts, locations, and languages.”
Beekeeper has experienced tremendous growth in the last year in many verticals including hospitality, manufacturing and retail. The company plans to use the new funding to further expand its platform to bridge the gap between knowledge workers and their non-desk counterparts, and further expand its offering with new features and integrations.
As more than 80% of the world’s workers are non-desk employees, Beekeeper sees a major market opportunity for its solutions. As a part of Beekeeper’s roadmap, companies will be able to customise their experience through its rapidly growing marketplace, with additional apps and integrations with systems like Workday.
“Digital transformation of the enterprise has become mission-critical for suppliers, especially in the hospitality and travel ecosystem,” said Christopher R. Hemmeter, managing director at Thayer Ventures. “Although the tendrils of this transformation have largely reached management and other desk-based workers, the non-desk worker has mostly been left behind. Closing the gap is more complicated than one might think given the fluid nature of the workforce, security challenges, legacy systems and need to mitigate complexity.”
While desktop tools get adoption rates of 15% among non-desk workers, the Beekeeper platform boasts an industry-leading 90% activation rate, creating a uniquely valuable enterprise tool that hosts the majority of day-to-day workflows for many of its customers.
“Today, over 75% of the global workforce rely on their smartphones to communicate with their colleagues, but there are few digital tools which cater to the needs of non-desk-workers,” said Nils Granath, responsible for ICT investments at Swisscanto Private Equity Switzerland Growth I KmGK.