Article

Putting software to work

Sabina Pasha

Sabina Pasha
Investor

Putting software to work

At Frog Capital, we have a proven track record of investing in purpose-led scale-ups that make a positive difference in society. One of the key areas where software continues to do this is the world of work. We have developed a strong focus and expertise in workforce management software and are committed to investing further in the dynamic changes within the modern workplace.

The workforce and the nature of work are undergoing constant transformation, a trend accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As we navigate multiple changes in demographic, such as an ageing workforce and new Gen Z workforce alongside a constrained labour supply, it is imperative to optimise the current workforce and adapt practices to meet the expectations of younger generations, who prioritise wellbeing, balance and job satisfaction. Frog recognises these challenges and is committed to investing in solutions that enhance workplace efficiency and satisfaction.

In the past few years we have invested in businesses like Winningtemp, Modulr and Evotix, who are helping to build a more productive and positive world at work.

Navigating Workforce Trends

In response to the ongoing workplace shifts, employers must be agile, responding to evolving trends and new business requirements. Key trends influencing the workforce include:

  • Emergence of New Jobs: In a report published in 2017, Dell predicted that 85% of jobs in 2030 had not yet been created. Fields like Quantum Computing, Climate Change, and Blockchain illustrate the rapid emergence of new industries. We continue to see this with the impact of AI on specific Product Owners or Engineers
  • Adoption of Cloud Accounting: The efficiencies driven by cloud accounting are becoming indispensable, prompting widespread adoption of ERP systems and complementary solutions to enhance feature sets
  • Globalisation and Collaboration: Again, we can see how international workforces and remote workforces necessitate the adoption of cloud solutions for seamless collaboration
  • Continuous Learning and Development: There is an increasing need for continuous upskilling to meet new skill requirements as the skills of specific jobs change over time
  • Growth of the Gig Economy: The rise of freelancers and consultants reflects a move away from traditional 9-to-5 roles driving the need for more complex and agile work management solutions
  • Changing Workforce Habits: Millennials and Gen Z frequently change jobs, driven by a desire to upskill, earn more, and seek promotions. Employers need to understand what is driving churn and job satisfaction to encourage a longer serving workforce
  • Enhanced Focus on Wellbeing: Post-Covid, there is a heightened emphasis on mental health and preventing burnout and therefore we can see the impact on benefit platforms and wellbeing solutions

Optimising Workforce Efficiency

Businesses continuously seek ways to drive efficiency across processes and optimise their existing workforce. Frog’s investment in Evotix, a leader in EHS (environmental health and safety) software, is a good demonstration of our focus on creating value for businesses, their customers and wider society in this space. Evotix is helping over 500 companies and their 150,000 employees take a major step up in their Health & Safety operations. With safety and sustainability in its DNA, across strategy, product and the company culture, Evotix grew rapidly, expanded to the US and reached over $20m ARR in the 3 years following Frog’s investment. This resulted in them being acquired by SAI360 Inc. which has brought the benefits of their software to workforces on a global scale, while generating a 3.2x return on Frog’s investment.

Winningtemp is another example that underscores our focus on workforce productivity and efficiency. Winningtemp demonstrates tangible benefits to their customers, including a 30% decrease in employee turnover, a 28% reduction in workplace stress, and a 48% improvement in work satisfaction within a year of using their platform. These results highlight the significant impact of prioritising employee engagement and wellbeing.

Similarly, our investment in Modulr, a leading embedded payments platform, streamlines payroll processes for businesses, ensuring timely and accurate payments, thereby enhancing employee satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Strategic Investment in Workforce Management

At Frog, we categorise workforce management into four broad areas:

  1. Talent Acquisition: Encompassing recruitment, candidate management, onboarding, and assessment. These platforms can dramatically reduce the time in identifying and engaging with the best talent for specific roles, as well as streamline both the recruitment and onboarding process. They should be able to help companies filter through candidates which have specific qualifications or who may use the platform for testing
  2. Core HR: Providing end-to-end solutions for recruitment, talent management, payroll, scheduling, analytics, compliance, and benefits. Where HR solutions are unified, they provide strong oversight over the whole of an organisations operations to support HR departments in data-led decision making, and allowing time to focus on engagement, retention and communication
  3. Talent Management: Focusing on employee engagement, analytics, professional development, upskilling, reskilling, performance management, and scheduling. This encompasses all the ways that employees are managed and how leaders maintain productivity and satisfaction across an organisation. Alongside employee engagement, talent management ensures managers can support direct reports with learning and development to ensure their skills develop with the needs of the business
  4. Payroll and Benefits: Payroll systems which automate and streamline the process of paying employees can create huge efficiencies for finance teams, and peace of mind for employees on clarity across gross and net pay. As we see the continued focus on mental wellbeing for employees, we see this expand into flexible benefits/wellbeing platforms which allow employees agency in choosing benefits which are a priority to them and their families

What is our thesis?

As part of our commitment to invest in businesses which have a wide-ranging positive impact, our focus is on businesses that have as many touch points across a business as possible. For that reason, we focus on Talent Management, Payroll and Benefits, and Core HR solutions.  Having an impact on business performance through ROI and efficiency is a core part to this, equal to platforms that have a lasting impact on the skills or mental well-being of the employees across a business 

Positive Growth Equity

Frog Capital uses the Impact Management Project (IMP) framework to assess the impact of businesses on people and the planet. Workforce management solutions align well with this framework and are well suited to B2B SaaS models that can scale efficiently through enterprise, mid-market, or SME strategies.

The IMP describes impact based on an analysis of five dimensions:

  1. Who is being impacted?
  2. How much?
  3. In what way?
  4. Contribution of the organisation, and
  5. How significant is the impact over a long period of time?

Software companies within Talent Management, Core HR, and Payroll/Benefits in particular are well positioned to make a positive impact. Our thesis is that Talent Acquisition business models are typically more transactional, i.e. based on individual recruited or onboarded and therefore and capital intensive. Recruitment platforms typically have similar dynamics to marketplaces where the cost of acquiring and serving customers is on the supply and demand side, and therefore LTV/CAC metrics can be challenging to scale where investment is continuously needed across both markets.

Our focus is on scalable platforms targeting SME’s or Enterprise customers whereby unit economics can scale more efficiently.

Operational expertise

As part of Frog’s Scale-Up Methodology, our in-house team of Operating Partners specialise in supporting senior leadership teams building scalable businesses. Our library of podcasts and toolkits, How to Scale, provides invaluable resources for tackling fundamental scaling challenges, such as:

Go to How to Scale for more examples.

Evolving landscape

Software will continue to adapt changing workforce needs and employer skill requirements. Talent Management and Core HR solutions are essential for employers to navigate these changes effectively, and Frog remains dedicated to investing in and supporting businesses that drive significant societal value through workforce optimisation. With successful investments in companies like WinningTemp, Modulr, and Evotix, we are looking forward to finding the next generation of businesses driving productivity across Europe and beyond.


Sabina Pasha

Author

Sabina Pasha