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API Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

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Bay-area Start-up Waggl Raises More than $1 Million in Funding

In just over two months since its official launch, Waggl – a new breed of communication and crowdsourcing – has $1.1 million in funds committed for its series seed round. The brainchild of co-founders at leading human capital management firm Fort Hill Company, Waggl addresses the shortcomings of today’s methods for collecting responses and data by equipping C-suite executives, sales teams, managers and HR with the ability to rapidly crowdsource critical intelligence, sentiment and unfiltered insights from within their organizations.

A star studded and carefully selected group of technologists and investors have joined Waggl to further advise and shape the business for long-term success. Several of the individuals involved include:

  • Jeff Snipes, founder and former CEO of Ninth House, will join Waggl as investor and executive chairman.
  • Robert Hohman, former president of Hotwire; founder and CEO of Glassdoor, will join Waggl as investor and advisor.
  • Joe Abrams, co-founder of Software Toolworks and Intermix, parent company of Myspace, will join Waggl as a director.
  • James Gutierrez, founder, former CEO and chairman of Progreso Financiero; co-founder and CEO at Insikt, will join Waggl as investor and advisor.
  • Ignace Goethals, former president of Smithkline Beecham Animal Health Division; former chairman of Allergy Therapeutics, will join Waggl as investor and a director.
  • Rob Bernshteyn, former head of product marketing and management for SuccessFactors; CEO of Coupa, will join Waggl as an advisor.

Waggl cites a number of factors for driving interest among investors, as well as the company’s impressive growth, demonstrating the need for businesses to more effectively surface and utilize the massive amount of intelligence existing within their organizations. Since launching in February, the Bay-area start-up has experienced more than a 300 percent increase in account sign-ups from a range of organizations, in particular within the healthcare and education fields, including Sanofi, Lone Star College Systems and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Additionally, the crowdsourcing tool is experiencing a “network effect” among its user-base, resulting in strong viral adoption. Waggl also recently rolled out its new freemium pricing model – more information on pricing can be found here.

“Since our launch, we’ve seen an enormous uptick in new accounts and a corresponding effect on existing user activity on the platform, proving our solution is helping organizations tackle challenges with improving business operations, customer service and/or general internal communication and collaboration,” said Michael Papay, CEO of Waggl. “The funding we’ve raised will help us meet product development requests and enhance our platform even further, as well as expand our customer base internationally. The second half of 2014 should be really exciting for us!”

Waggl has also partnered with Affero Lab – the largest human capital management firm in Brazil and lead distributor of SuccessFactors in South America – to expand the platforms’ offering outside of the U.S.

“There’s a significant opportunity in Brazil and across Latin America for organizations to leverage Waggl for gathering and prioritizing intelligence to improve decision making and take on management challenges,” said Alexandre Santille, co-CEO of Affero Lab. “We jumped at the chance to be part of this round and help expand Waggl’s reach on a more global scale.”

Investor and Advisor Viewpoints

Jeff Snipes, co-founder of PDI Ninth House

“The ability to ask smart questions and receive accurate and valuable insight rapidly is perhaps a CEO’s greatest tool for navigating the complex and constantly changing business landscape. No other platform puts this power in the hands of business leaders as simply and elegantly as Waggl… it truly is a human search engine.”

Joe Abrams, co-founder of Intermix, parent company of Myspace

“Over the last few decades, I was fortunate to have been one of the early pioneers of the software industry and then again in the social networking space. I believe Waggl has the opportunity to be as disruptive of a technology for the enterprise; one that can ultimately transform how organizations communicate and source intelligence from their own people. Waggl is a game changer.”

About Waggl

Waggl is the first human search engine for business leaders looking to surface new ideas or honest input quickly. Waggl provides decision makers with a fast, focused and engaging way to enable enterprise communication and crowdsourcing. Unlike online survey tools or enterprise social platforms, it is designed specifically to surface the best insights, ideas, solutions and sentiment of a group. Just as Twitter automated 1-to-many digital communication, Waggl optimizes the many-to-1 collection and synthesis of valuable insight in real-time. More than 1,500 organizations today use Waggl’s cloud-based platform from laptops, phones or mobile devices. Clients include Domino’s Pizza, Glassdoor, Olympics, Sanofi, Pacific Pulmonary Services and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Waggl is named after the dance used by honeybees for millions of years to surface ideas and make decisions, perhaps one of the oldest and most successful forms of communication and crowdsourcing.

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