Dublin’s PepTalk raises €1.2m to improve the hybrid work experience

14 Sep 2021

From left: Karl Tapley, Michelle Fogarty and James Brogan of PepTalk. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

PepTalk’s fresh funding will be used to add new features to its platform, make 15 new hires and expand in the UK and EMEA markets.

Workplace wellness software start-up PepTalk has raised €1.2m and announced plans to hire 15 roles within the next year.

Describing itself as a ‘culture tech’ company, PepTalk aims to help businesses promote positive behaviours and habits among staff to boost performance.

It was founded in Dublin in 2017 by former Twitter executive Michelle Fogarty, lawyer James Brogan and former Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan. In 2019, it was one of 15 Irish companies selected for the Google Adopt a Startup programme.

The funding round was led by UK-based Haatch Ventures, which has previously backed Irish start-ups Buymie and Scurri. Enterprise Ireland and angel investors also participated in the investment round.

James Brogan, CEO of PepTalk, said that the world of work is at “a crucial inflection point” with the hybrid working model emerging as a clear winner, and organisations must learn how to build trust and connections in this environment.

“Hybrid culture needs to be built with much more proactivity and intentionality and that is where our platform is now essential. Ensuring those social behaviours are nudged and enabled wherever employees are based. This is a fundamental part of performance culture and will impact productivity if not addressed.”

PepTalk said the investment will be used to make updates to its platform such as behavioural nudges for managers and team check-ins. It will also go towards hiring 15 new employees for its sales, marketing and technology teams within the next 12 months as well as further expansion in the UK and EMEA markets.

The start-up has grown significantly over the past year, seeing turnover more than double and reaching more than 10,000 users on the platform across four continents. It has signed partnerships with companies including Linesight, Nitro, PRL Group and Northern Trust.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, welcomed the company’s growth and said it was encouraging to see an Irish start-up perform well during the pandemic.

“I particularly commend PepTalk’s focus on blended working and remote working, which reflects the Government’s intention to see more flexibility in many more workplaces. I wish PepTalk the very best for the year ahead and look forward to seeing many more years of growth and workforce expansion.”

Niall McEvoy, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up division, added that PepTalk is a “pioneering” company in the new world of work.

“With the significant changes in work patterns and accelerated digital transformation that we have experienced during the pandemic, this ambitious company is ideally positioned to assist businesses to enhance their workplace culture, employee engagement and growth, particularly with remote working now being an important and integral way we do business globally.”

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic