The self-styled continuous performance management startup 15Five Inc. said today it has landed $52 million in a new round of funding, bringing its total amount raised to date to $94.1 million.
Today’s Series C round was led by Quad Partners and saw the participation of a string of existing investors, including Next47, Origin Ventures, Matrix Partners, Point Nine Capital and New Ground Ventures.
15Five has created an unusual manager productivity platform that combines subscription software, training and coaching to improve the productivity of managers and other employees. Its products include Engage, an offering that provides surveys and feedback to help managers focus on what matters. There’s also Perform, which is used to carry out manager performance reviews. Finally Focus helps managers focus on objectives, key results and goal management.
As for the training and coaching aspects, these are delivered through 15Five’s newest Transform offering, which was released last year. It helps HR managers to develop their leadership skills through a “blended learning model” that combines customized coaching with online education.
15Five, whose most notable customers include Spotify Inc., Credit Karma LLC and Hubspot Inc., says its platform has become all the more relevant in today’s era of hybrid and remote work. The post-pandemic world has led to a seismic shift in how, where and why people work.
That in turn has prompted the need for additional training for managers to maintain productivity, 15Five said. At the same time, younger employees have very different expectations about what work should provide for them. Not only do they want a paycheck at the end of the month, they also want inclusive workspaces that foster a sense of belonging, with greater opportunities for professional development.
15Five says that with this in mind, its platform can help HR teams to create innovative ways of attracting, developing and retaining talent within their organizations. Its tools have been purposely designed to meet the needs of smaller and medium-sized organizations with up to 2,500 employees, it said. Moreover, they integrate with existing human resource management, payroll and other critical systems that can be used to collect data on how people are performing at work.
“Our tools help HR leaders implement performance reviews, engagement surveys and alignment around goals, with a through-line to training and coaching for frontline and first-time managers,” said 15Five Chief Executive David Hassell. “We believe that managers are the keystone of high performance, not just in overseeing work but in helping to tap into the unique strengths and passions of every member of their team.”
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said 15Five’s funding was encouraging news because performance management is an area where most enterprises and HR managers still struggle to achieve results.
“At the core of the problem is the challenge of humans not wanting to be rated, and not enjoying rating others, even though it is a critical function for many enterprises,” Mueller said. “Indeed, when performance management doesn’t work, the entire area of talent management is potentially in trouble. So it is good to see more funding coming into this important space with Quad Partners and others doubling down on 15Five.”
Connor O’Keefe, principal of the lead investor in today’s round, Quad Partners, said he shares the company’s belief that employee professional development is key to the long-term health of organizations.
“Education and personal growth doesn’t stop when you get your four-year degree,” O’Keefe said. “It’s a natural extension for us to help companies facilitate professional development in other organizations by assessing people, training managers, and being able to make rapid improvements in individual and business performance.”
15Five said the money from today’s round will allow it to invest in research and development, with the aim being to further integrate performance measurement with coaching so managers can impact team performance more effectively. The company also has plans to expand its go-to-market teams and could potentially make some acquisitions in the future.