The perfect pivot: KonnectAgain rebrands as Talivest and expands globally

1 Feb 2018

From left: Jayne Ronayne, CEO and co-founder of Talivest; Laura Belyea, COO; and Helen Flynn, co-founder. Image: Talivest

It began as a way of reconnecting college alumni but today, Jayne Ronayne’s Talivest is on a global mission to transform HR and engage the millennial workforce.

Irish entrepreneur Jayne Ronayne’s KonnectAgain has rebranded as Talivest and is to expand globally.

It has brought on board Nicolas Berggruen, billionaire real-estate investor and philanthropist; Anne Heraty, founder of longstanding Irish recruitment agency CPL; and Charlie Songhurst, former head of Microsoft corporate strategy, whose previous investments include ClassPass.

‘There’s no getting away from the fact that companies experience a turnover of employees, and we saw an opportunity in the fact that exit interviews and leaving experiences are just as crucial as the first month’

They join existing investors such as PCH founder Liam Casey; Euristix’s Jim Mountjoy, who sold Fore Systems for €70m; and Bryan Meehan, who sold Blue Bottle Coffee to Nestlé for $400m last year.

The company is to grow its workforce by 15 to 25 employees globally. The majority of the new jobs will be located in the company’s overseas offices in New York and Lisbon, with some destined for Dublin.

The company formerly known as KonnectAgain previously featured as a Start-up the Week.

A new dimension in the war for talent

Speaking with, Ronayne said that Talivest’s primary mission is to help organisations retain their millennial workforces as the war for talent rumbles on.

Ronayne explained that Talivest is about helping to companies to maximise their investment in employees after spending so much time and money attracting, training and developing their people.

However, studies show that staff are job-hopping faster than ever. A Morgan McKinley study on millennials shows that almost 75pc intend to leave within five years.

The good news, Ronayne said, is that 49pc would be open to being rehired.

In a world where staff are leaving reviews on sites such as Glassdoor, the exit experience is crucial. And that’s where Talivest sparkles.

“There’s no getting away from the fact that companies experience a turnover of employees, and we saw an opportunity in the fact that exit interviews and leaving experiences are just as crucial as the first month in a company.”

She explained that Talivest plays a role in internal communications within companies, from the onboarding experience where leaders such as CEOs communicate what the organisation stands for, to the final exit interview and offboarding experience.

“It’s really about promoting brand and culture – not only to existing employees, but also to those who may return.”

She has a point. As the war for talent rages, 49pc of former workers with experience and knowledge who may return to an organisation is a pretty tangible segment but it is all down to their experiences with a company and how they remain in touch with colleagues.

And that’s where many elements of the ethos of reconnecting college alumni come in.

“We’re not in competition with players like LinkedIn; in fact, we see them as complementary to what we do. There are many active groups of workers who want to remain connected with colleagues after they leave. We actually view LinkedIn as a hotspot of engagement.

“Nicolas would actually have dealt a lot with LinkedIn but he saw synergies in what we were doing and came on board to make the product more sticky and tangible and bring value to users.”

Ronayne said the additional investment by Berggruen, Songhurst and Heraty will be used to invest in analytics, community management and, most importantly, sales.

“We will be hiring sales positions in New York and expanding the tech team in Dublin and Lisbon.”

Updated, 8.59am, 1 February 2018: This article was updated to provide the correct backgrounds of the new investors in Talivest.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years