Sona raises $27.5M Series A led by Felicis

workforce management

Sona, the next-generation, intelligent workforce management platform for frontline enterprises founded by Steffen Wulff PetersenOli Johnson and Ben Dixon, announced today its $27.5M Series A. Felicis led the financing with participation from Northzone, Google’s AI-fund Gradient, SpeedInvest, Antler, BAG Ventures, and numerous notable angels participated in the round. Sona has raised $40M+ to date and will use this fresh round of capital to expand its go-to-market function and build more advanced AI capabilities on its platform. In 2023 alone, Sona experienced an explosive 400%+ revenue growth. To date, over 4.6 million shifts have been created on Sona.

The frontline workforce represents nearly 2 billion people worldwide, 56% of the global workforce. In spite of this, frontline innovations have received <1% of VC funding, with 99% of venture investment deployed in technology for white-collar staff. Today, the tools and systems provided to frontline enterprises are ineffective, poorly-integrated, and not built for the complexity of frontline workflows. For decades, this lag in innovation has led to a poor experience for employees and incorrect deployment of labor, leading to unnecessary costs, suboptimal service, and revenue left on the table.

“With Sona, we’re building the ‘self-driving car’ of running a restaurant or a care home”, said Steffen Wulff Petersen, co-founder of Sona. “The last 20 years of workforce management was dominated by legacy point solutions that digitized simple paper processes. Sona is building the next generation of WFM with a truly intelligent platform that enables organizational leaders in complex, multi-location enterprises to put the right people, in the right place, at the right time; and to seamlessly manage their workforce end-to-end.”

Since 2020, frontline enterprises have faced multiple external headwinds: inflationary forces, demand volatility, and staff shortages. These businesses already operate with low single-digit margins and labor mismanagement remains the single biggest, and controllable, cost. Companies are now actively modernizing as they are entering the vendor replacement cycle or moving away from paper and spreadsheets. With Sona’s industry-specific and highly configurable software, their customers can pull multiple efficiency levers. AI acceleration, accurate forecasting, data-driven productivity models, and automated scheduling drive more intelligent deployment of labor which directly translates into significant profit increases.

“It’s great to see Sona provide an industry-leading solution for such a critical area for hospitality. Having been involved with ever-evolving workforce management platforms for nearly ten years, the results seen with Sona are impressive – from smart AI-enabled dynamic forecasting to auto-scheduling and, importantly, employee preferences and a slick ‘consumer grade’ app for ease of use,” said David Campbell, tenured executive (Chairman, CEO) of numerous hospitality businesses (including wagamama, PizzaExpress, The Ivy Collection, Bill’s Restaurants, Ole & Steen) and industry employee initiative Hospitality Rising. “Quite rightly, hospitality businesses are driving productivity and efficiency while building customer service – Sona has demonstrated the ability to help grow sales and optimise staffing.”

Sona’s exponential growth is driven by the speed of product delivery, high configurability, and sector expertise translating into product features specific to the social care and hospitality industries today. Unlike legacy platforms, Sona’s modern technology has been built from the ground up for real-time data processing and insights. Leveraging the Elixir programming language and large language models, Sona offers AI-powered real-time actionable feedback driving intelligent decision making leading to workforce productivity gains.

“We are proud to lead Sona’s Series A round and support its mission to empower frontline enterprises with cutting-edge workforce management solutions,” shared Niki Pezeshki, General Partner at Felicis. “We believe in Sona’s potential to redefine how businesses in sectors like social care, restaurants, and hospitality manage their workforce, and we’re excited to be part of their journey towards reshaping the future of work. Ben, Oli, Steffen and the Sona team have already helped over 100,000 frontline workers schedule shifts, and we know so many more will appreciate smarter software that enables their work.” 

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