Happeo lands $26M to provide a central intranet portal for employees

As companies adopt new tools to accommodate remote ways of work, it’s becoming tougher for their workforces to keep track of and manage information across internal services. It’s not just the C-suite that’s being challenged — lower-level employees, too, are having to wrestle with employers’ now-sprawling catalogs of apps. According to Statista, the average enterprise uses 110 software-as-a-service apps today, up from eight in 2015. Coveo found that, as a result, workers spend just over 3 hours a day searching for information in 2022, an hour more compared to a year ago.

If you ask Perttu Ojansuu, the answer is an intranet, or a company-specific, digital portal that centralizes much of a businesses’ software and documentation in one place. Ojansuu recognizes his bias — he co-founded Happeo, a startup developing intranet software to connect employees with company tools. But Ojansuu says that his view was shaped by his experiences working with customers at Gapps, a Finland-based Google Workspace reseller he helped to co-found in 2010. 

“[With Gapps,] co-founder Antero Hanhirova and I saw a big opportunity to help enterprise companies in the Nordics with their cloud transformation,” Ojansuu told TechCrunch in a recent interview. “During our Gapps time, we identified a significant and consistent challenge that our customers were facing: there wasn’t any central source of truth for information that could be readily integrated with other software-as-a-service tools … In 2016, born from that customer challenge, we decided to create a comprehensive solution for our customers.”


Using Happeo’s editing tools to build an intranet portal.

Ojansuu and Hanhirova launched Happeo’s first incarnation, “Universe,” in early 2016. In 2017, the two officially incorporated the company. To date, Happeo has raised $47 million in venture capital, including a $26 million Series B round co-led by Endeit Capital, Smartfin and Evli Growth Partners that closed today. (Inkef Capital, Maki.vc, and Vendep Capital also participated in the Series B.)

Happeo aims to connect teams and people in an “organic way,” Ojansuu says, letting them create channels and pages around projects and mutual interests. The platform brings resources and apps together in a searchable home portal, with a launcher that allows employees to jump into different software. 

Happeo’s “federated search” capability can search across a company’s various internal tools. Beyond this, the service — which integrates with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace — offers a place to host shared files and documents. On the back end, an analytics dashboard shows metrics like channel, page and post engagement, as well as search activity (e.g., the most searched keywords).

As tech companies grow fast, they don’t have time to build processes — the result is information chaos, leading to slowed-down productivity and low employee experience,” Ojansuu explained via an email Q&A. “That’s where Happeo comes in … [It] removes the burden of sharing important updates from instant messaging tools, so teams can go back to using these to collaborate instead of being overwhelmed by information.”

Intranet platforms are hardly new — they’ve been around in some form for decades. And there’s plenty of competitors in the space, including Google and Microsoft. Last July, Simpplr raised $32 million for its tools to build intranet sites. More recently (in March), Staffbase landed $115 million at a $1.1 billion valuation to expand its intranet-style comms platform.

It’s worth noting that the large financing rounds are partly a reflection of the enthusiasm among VCs for HR tech, broadly speaking. The year 2021 proved to be a record year for HR tech vendors, with around $14 billion invested across over 300 deals.

One hurdle for Happeo to overcome is the perception that intranet services aren’t particularly useful — or pleasant — from a user perspective. One survey found that only 13% of employees use their intranets on a daily basis, while 31% admit to having never used them. Research pegs outdated or irrelevant content and a lack of executive engagement as the major culprits, along with a lack of clear purpose.


Image Credits: Happeo

But Ojansuu claims that Happeo’s is more holistic than most. 

“Work is no longer a place where employees come together, share knowledge, bounce ideas off each other, communicate, and build trust and connection. Brick-and-mortar offices and water cooler conversations have disappeared. Workers took all this shared information with us into the home office,” Ojansuu told TechCrunch. “Employee experience is now at the center of the HR tech market … [E]veryone wants to build an ‘experience layer’ that sits in front of employees. Happeo is addressing this actively by becoming the central source of truth for companies to access all their information.”

Ojansuu says — for what it’s worth — that the sales pitch convinced Rajeev Suri, the former CEO of Nokia, to make his first-ever angel investment in a Finnish company. It likely helped that Happeo had over 366 customers prior to the closing of the Series B, including Pinterest, Decathlon and Marqeta. 

“The problems Happeo solves are business-critical to success and its urgency for companies is high both in times of economic downturn and growth. Because of this, Happeo does not expect any effect on its expected growth. Q2 2022 has been a record-setting quarter [for the company],” Ojansuu said. “Having just closed our Series B round we are in a great position, and we have a lot of job openings, especially in tech and sales.”

In the near term, Ojansuu says that the plan is to invest in Happeo’s product development with a focus on adding new app and service integrations. Further expansion in North America is in the works, which will touch on Happeo’s sales and customer success teams in New York.

Happeo currently has 124 employees and expects to have 160 by the end of the year. 

Stravito raises $14.6M to create a ‘Netflix for enterprise market research’

Market research and insights are often underutilized assets for enterprises but it’s usually too hard to find content and there’s a lot of duplication, or information isn’t used well.

Swedish startup Stravito says it can centralize internal and external data sources and create something more akin to a ‘Spotify or Netflix’ for these kinds of assets, making them far more usable and consumable, they say.

It’s clearly onto something, since it’s now raised a €12.4million ($14.6million USD) series A funding round led by Endeit Capital, with additional investment from existing investors HenQ, Inventure and Creades. To date, Stravito has raised €20.1million ($23.7million USD).

Founded in 2017 by market research veterans and former iZettle employees, Stravito counts among its customers Carlsberg, Edwards Lifesciences, Pepsi Lipton, Danone, Electrolux and Comcast.

Thor Olof Philogène, CEO and co-founder at Stravito said: “It has never been more important for the world’s largest enterprises to understand and react to their customer’s changing behaviors using centralized, vetted company insights. Stravito’s technology and platform makes it fast and easy for companies to use research to make better decisions.”

On a call with me he added: “We provide a search technology, and a great design, all combined to deliver an intuitive, highly automated cloud service that allows these big companies to centralise internal and external data sources so they can pull out the nuggets they need.”

Jelle-Jan Bruinsma, Partner at Endeit Capital, added: “Endeit Capital is always looking for the next generation of international software scale-ups, and Stravito stood out in the Nordics through its impressive work to raise the bar in the multibillion dollar market research and data industry.”
Stravito also appointed Elaine Rodrigo, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer at Reckitt Benckiser, to its board of directors.

Final-mile fulfillment startup parcelLab closes $112M Series C funding led by Insight Partners

Munich-based parcelLab, which offers a final-mile fulfillment service for online retailers, has closed a $112 million (GB£80 million) Series C funding round led by the US VC/PE firm Insight Partners.

Germany’s Endeit Capital participated as a co-investor, alongside existing investors Capnamic Ventures and coparion. parcelLab last raised an undisclosed Series B in October 2019. The new funding will feed into parcelLab’s global expansion plans and new product development.

Founded in 2015 by Tobias Buxhoidt (CEO), Julian Krenge (CTO), and Anton Eder (COO), the startup has managed to bag such customers as Lidl, to which it provides automated personalized shipping messages. This means that as much as 85% of Lidl customers return to its website.

It also works with IKEA and Farfetch to increase basket sizes and email open rates of – it claims – over 90%, 25% reductions in WISMO (where is my order), and increases of customer reviews.   

In a statement Tobias Buxhoidt, CEO and Founder of parcelLab, said: “As e-commerce becomes increasingly competitive, providing unique and branded experiences will drive growth. Identifying opportunities to further connect with people and build a better, stronger relationship is a key differentiator.”   
Matt Gatto, Managing Director at Insight Partners, said: “We pride ourselves in identifying and investing in software ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. In parcelLab, we see true potential to transform how brands and people connect.”

Endeit only recently raised a €250 million fund to invest in B-stage European startups, so this is its most recent deployment of capital.

Philipp Schroeder Partner at Endeit commented: “ParcelLab’s team is the perfect example of internet entrepreneurs that we want to support – entrepreneurs who can drive the change to make Europe more competitive and who have the ambition to become global market leaders.” 

ParcelLab’s main competitor is US-based Narvar which has raised $64M, with its last round being a Series C funding.