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Mercu Raise $2.4m For Employee Turnover App

Sydney start-up company Mercu have launched a platform to help tackle employee churn and decreased employee engagement.

The platform is aimed at the 70% of the global workforce who do not sit behind a desk, and has raised $2.4m in an effort to broaden it.

Mercu were created to help employers manage, grow and retain the “deskless workforce” with the use of chat apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram.

Co-founders Jascha Zittel and Elliott Gibb advised turnover rates increased over the last 10 years, while employee engagement fell since the COVID-19 restriction were lifted.

Jascha Zittel said, “The deskless workforce were sort of the frontline workers during Covid, and they were considered some of the heroes of the pandemic and the backbone of the recovery.”

“And we saw this at Grab dealing with drivers and merchants. But they’ve overlooked by ‘big tech’, they’re about 70 per cent of the global workforce but only about 1 per cent of venture capital gets deployed to solve for their problems.

“We thought it was a very interesting contradiction that big tech is trying to build another app to make engineers more effective or another app to help a finance professional, but there aren’t a lot of companies with products to make a warehouse worker more effective or to help a line cook at McDonald’s.”

Elliott Gibb advised Mercu is there to reduce time spent on manual processes such as employee and candidate communication, and content sent through the chat apps has 4-5 times more engagement compared to email or mobile-based content.

“We’ve all witnessed the real-world impact of lower employee engagement; restaurants closed on Mondays and supply chain disruptions. Employers are at a loss on what to do.”

“More and more people are leaving their jobs and there is a huge hiring crisis at the moment making it difficult to find people to fill roles.

“Existing solutions are built for office workers and they often require a laptop or a corporate email to login. They just ignore basic consideration for things like communicating inside and outside of shift work.

“We make it incredibly frictionless; you don’t have to download any new software and you don’t have to have an email address that you need to log into. It’s an app that you already have on your phone, and we do all of this with the intention of making it easier for employees to grow and retain their workforce.”

This start-up has now raised a $2.4m seed round from TEN13, 500 Global, Flying Fox Ventures, Archangel Ventures and XA Network.

They already an existing investor, Sequoia Capital India who also participated.

They have signed up businesses such as Guzman Y Gomez in Singapore and Sam Prince Hospitality Group in Australia.

“In Mercu we saw a unique opportunity to support a huge, global and previously ignored market,” said Bree Kirkham, Flying Fox Ventures partner.

“The deskless workforce encompasses 2.6 billion people and is only growing with the rise of gig work and side hustling.

“Starting as a communications platform, we believe that Mercu can grow to own most aspects of the deskless workforce interaction with their employers. In the three months since launch Mercu’s founders, Elliott Gibb and Jascha Alexander, have developed a sales pipeline that can fuel significant growth off its already fast start.

“What’s more, this is a company that is global from day one, already landing and serving customers in Australia, Asia, America, and with backing from international investors like Sequoia and 500 Global.”



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