Dublin's PepTalk raises €3m to boost US expansion

The start-up co-founded by former Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan will use the fresh funding to scale its business in the US and grow its team by 12.

Workplace wellness software start-up PepTalk has raised €3m to grow its team and expand in the US.

The funding round was led by VentureWave Capital, which launched its Impact Ireland Fund in 2020 to help build global ‘technology for good’ companies.

Describing itself as a “team experience platform for the modern workplace”, PepTalk is aiming to create a better environment for hybrid work.

The start-up said its platform is underpinned by behavioural psychology, with features to measure and improve team engagement, retention and 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.

Last year, PepTalk raised €1.2m to add new features to its platform, make 15 new hires and expand in the UK and EMEA markets. Investors in last year’s funding round included Haatch Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.

The platform has grown significantly in recent years, with big clients including PayPal, Elavon and AIB. More than 80pc of AIB’s PepTalk users said the platform helped increase the connection to their colleagues, according to a case study shared by the start-up.

PepTalk currently employs 23 staff and plans to add 12 new people to its team across sales, marketing and technology.

The start-up also plans to double its revenue next year and expand further into the US. CEO James Brogan is relocating to PepTalk’s US office to serve the increasing market demand among North American customers.

The CEO said the company is “delighted” to have partnered with VentureWave to help fuel its expansion.

“We are a mission-driven business, and it is unique to find an investor that aligns so strongly with our own values,” he added.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, welcomed the funding news and said it is great to see an Irish start-up “experiencing strong growth”.

“The opening of the new base in the US provides a great opportunity to introduce and embed their unique product offering amongst blue-chip companies in global markets and is a massive step forward on their growth journey,” Varadkar said.

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