Submitted by: Laurie Gibson
Granite Ventures, Opus Capital, and Crosslink Back Company, Serial Entrepreneur Deidre Paknad
Palo Alto, CA February 25, 2014 — Workboard, Inc., a provider of execution intelligence applications for enterprise managers, today announced it completed a $2.75 million Series A financing. Granite Ventures and Opus Capital co-led the investment with participation from Crosslink and Shea Ventures. The company, whose first goal and status reporting application is in private beta, will use the capital to accelerate product development and grow its customer base.
In addition to co-founder Deidre Paknad, Workboard added Chris Hollenbeck of Granite Ventures and Carl Showalter of Opus Capital to the company’s board of directors. Both Granite and Opus invested in Paknad’s previous venture. Rusty Rueff, co-author of Talent Force: a New Manifesto for the Human Side of Business, former EVP of Human Resources at Electronic Arts and chair of the GRAMMY Foundation, also joins the board. Christina Wodtke, author of Information Architect and user experience design expert, joins as an advisor.
The comprehensive study “State of the American Workplace” (Gallup, 2013) shows that employees work more hours than ever before, yet less than 20% understand their organization’s goals; not surprisingly, 70% report being disengaged from their work. Furthermore, Gallup estimates that these “disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity,” a significant issue when today’s slower economic growth requires higher productivity from fewer employees. “Managers want more efficient, effective ways to link goals to work to reported results while teams want to know their work is relevant and valuable,” says Paknad. “With Workboard, it is as easy to publish goals, coordinate work and track results as it is to share social status. Execution and satisfaction both improve.” Workboard will provide execution intelligence apps that enable managers to more efficiently close the gap between corporate planning and performance processes and their teams’ execution and management reporting activities.
Paknad has founded and led several companies. Her last company, PSS Systems, was acquired by IBM in late 2010; Paknad ran the high-growth Information Governance business at IBM for several years, improving information economics large enterprise customers. Board and investor Chris Hollenbeck says, “Deidre knows how to identify enterprise challenges and build great solutions that delight customers and define new markets. We are excited to invest in her next company.”
“Execution and engagement go hand in hand; employees now expect higher transparency and to be fully engaged in achieving the goals of the organization,” said Rusty Rueff, who is also a board director at Glassdoor and HireVue. “Workboard unifies goal clarity, execution efficiency and employee engagement in a very exciting and accessible way.”
Christina Wodtke, who has led large teams at Yahoo, Zynga, MySpace and LinkedIn during very high growth stages, said, “Managers of high-performing teams know when they set clear goals, establish key metrics and insist on regular status assessments against those goals, they can deliver phenomenal performance. Workboard makes it easier to institutionalize this model of execution excellence for large and distributed teams.”
Workboard’s mission is to enable managers to reach greater professional velocity and provide them with execution intelligence to help high performing teams sustain great results. Founded in 2013 by Deidre and Daryoush Paknad, the company is based in Redwood City, California. Workboard’s initial app for goal and status reporting is currently in private beta. The company publishes the popular Leadership Refresher weekly email for managers. For more information, see www.workboard.com or connect with the company on LinkedIn or Facebook.
About Granite Ventures
Granite Ventures was founded in 1992 and is based in San Francisco, California. They manage over $1 billion in venture capital, investing in early-stage technology companies. They focus on cloud infrastructure and applications, mobility, and internet applications. For more information, see http://www.granitevc.com
Opus Capital was founded in 2005 and is based in Menlo Park, California. They have played an integral role, investing capital and expertise, in more than 80 successful companies, including 50 IPOs. They manage over $1 billion in venture capital. For more information, see http://www.opuscapitalventures.com/
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