SocialCrowd, a startup specializing in performance management, has successfully secured $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding round, with Bread and Butter Ventures leading the investment, as reported exclusively by TechCrunch.

Established in 2020, SocialCrowd operates as a SaaS platform offering performance management software. The platform enables companies to establish goals for their employees and provides rewards upon goal achievement. Raphael Akinsipe, co-founder of SocialCrowd, likened the product to a workplace version of Fitbit.

Akinsipe explained that SocialCrowd allows customers to create incentive campaigns with specific objectives. The platform then monitors employee performance in real-time by integrating with existing productivity apps. It sends reminders to employees to meet their targets, and upon goal completion, workers receive points redeemable for rewards such as gift cards or customized incentives like time off.

The startup has garnered increased attention, especially in the context of companies grappling with the shift to remote work. Akinsipe noted that many customers with large blue-collar shift teams faced challenges transitioning to remote work during and after the pandemic. This struggle led to a heightened demand for solutions fostering employee retention and enhanced productivity.

Despite the economic downturn, investment interest in workplace software remains robust. Investors find the potential correlation between work software, increased productivity, and return on investment appealing. Additionally, corporations tend to invest in work software even in challenging economic conditions.

Akinsipe acknowledged that fundraising was a lengthy process for SocialCrowd, spanning approximately nine months. Most lead investors were connected through referrals. Despite facing numerous rejections, Akinsipe expressed resilience and creativity in closing the funding round.

The pre-seed funding, which included participation from VC 414, Serac Ventures, and Gala Capital Partners, will be utilized by SocialCrowd to expand its team and concentrate on customer acquisition.

Mary Grove, a managing partner at Bread and Butter, praised SocialCrowd’s consumer-centric approach and emphasis on employee engagement. She highlighted the positive feedback from current customers, indicating the platform’s potential as a mutually beneficial tool for employers and frontline workers.

Akinsipe envisions SocialCrowd evolving beyond incentives and rewards, aiming to become a comprehensive tool for employee growth and business insight. The co-founders, Akinsipe and Paul Doran, initially met in college as roommates and have previously collaborated on various startups, demonstrating a longstanding commitment to the entrepreneurial journey.