Sense, An Engagement Platform For Gig Workers, Secures $10 Million In Series A and Seed Funding Led By Accel and GV

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Sense technology reimagines communication between staffing agencies and their workers, increasing worker loyalty

Sense, the first engagement platform designed to improve contractor work experience and increase loyalty to employers, today announced $10 million in seed and Series A funding led by Accel and GV, to help support hiring and product development.

Joining Accel and GV in the funding round are Signia Venture Partners, IDG Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

Launched in 2016, Sense serves the $428 billion global staffing market, enabling agencies to better capitalize on the gig workforce by boosting worker engagement and reducing attrition. Freelancers and contractors work in nearly every field, from engineering and healthcare to light industrial and clerical, and make up 34 percent* of the US workforce. Experts predict that number will rise to 43 percent by 2020. Staffing agencies have been the traditional employers of a significant portion of independent workers.

“While the growing contingent workforce represents a massive market opportunity for traditional staffing firms, almost no technology exists to help them take full advantage,” says Anil Dharni, Sense CEO. “Staffing agencies place tens of thousands of workers each month, and the single biggest challenge they face is churn. Up to 20 percent of contingent workers drop out before an assignment ends and about 70 percent who finish a job don’t return to the agency for another one. By giving agencies tools to communicate with workers and offer a more engaging experience, we create satisfied employees who want to stick with those agencies. It’s a win-win.”

Sense’s platform automates staffing agencies’ communications with candidates, allowing agencies to deliver personalized emails and texts timed to specific moments in a worker’s job cycle: welcoming a new employee, checking in on the first day of an assignment, soliciting feedback at midpoint, and surfacing new opportunities when a job ends, for example.

These automated messages, which are managed through a dashboard that also displays analytics on engagement and worker feedback, allow agencies to provide a high-touch experience that engenders employee goodwill, but can be executed at scale with minimal cost and time.

Some of the world’s largest staffing agencies, including Vaco, PrideStaff and CDI, use Sense to communicate with more than 1 million professionals each month. The services they deploy include onboarding automation, real-time on the job check-ins and feedback, re-deployment of workforce and re-activating and nurturing alumni.

Sense customers have increased re-deployment rates by as much as 50 percent and reduced consultant attrition by as much as 20 percent, representing significant savings. It can cost companies between $10K and $20K to replace a $50/hour consultant.

“Attracting and retaining the best contingent candidates is a high priority for recruiters,” said Anand Daniel, Partner at Accel and a Sense board member. “This is a large and growing industry with very little tech penetration. The experienced team at Sense built an excellent product that combines the power of event-driven messaging and real-time analytics in a single tool, enabling agencies to track contractor engagement, predict turnover and improve redeployment. Accel is excited to partner with Anil and team.”

“Companies today face fierce competition to find, attract and engage with talent,” said Jim Jhanda, Managing Director at Vaco San Francisco. “Not only are businesses like Facebook, Oracle and Netflix leaning on us to provide them with the highest-quality professionals, retention has become a top priority. The Sense platform has transformed our talent engagement experience and reduced contractor attrition to the lowest level in our industry.”

Along with Dharni, Sense’s founding team is made up of Ram Gudavalli, CTO; Alex Rosen, VP of Product; and Pankaj Jindal, Head of Sales and a 15-year veteran of running staffing companies. Dharni and Gudavalli built and sold their prior company, Funzio, to GREE for more than $210 million. Rosen was an early Funzio employee.

About Sense (http://www.sensehq.co)
Launched in 2016, Sense serves the $428 billion staffing market, enabling agencies to better capitalize on the gig workforce by improving contractor engagement and reducing attrition. The first talent engagement platform designed for the contingent workforce, Sense powers the contingent talent lifecycle all the way from application to deployment, to re-deployment when a project ends. By mining engagement signals, Sense reduces turnover, increases re-deployment rates and gives companies a real-time 360 view on the pulse of their workforce. The company is backed by Accel, GV, Khosla Ventures, IDG Ventures and Signia Venture Partners. Sense is based in San Francisco.

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*Source: Intuit

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