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Workvivo thinks bigger as Covid drives growth

Cork firm says investment from Zoom founder was a 'major milestone'

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Workvivo CEO John Goulding with Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom and entrepreneur

Workvivo CEO John Goulding with Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom and entrepreneur

Workvivo CEO John Goulding with Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom and entrepreneur

Tech firm Workvivo has "aggressive growth plans" with remote working now the norm and organisations looking for ways to keep dispersed workforces engaged.

The Cork company, which has built an employee communication platform over the last three years, recently received €500,000 investment from US tech entrepreneur Eric Yuan, whose video conferencing company Zoom is the undoubted technology star of the coronavirus era, hosting everything from board meetings to family table quizzes.

Workvivo had already signed up big Irish companies such as Bus Éireann, Woodie's, VoxPro, Laya Healthcare and Cubic Telecom for their internal communications before the Covid-19 crisis struck. International clients include Morgan McKinley and Staffordshire University.

The platform has more than 120,000 users and chief executive John Goulding said the Cork firm is aiming for more than a million by next year.

The company does not have any significant need for further investment "but we'll have decisions to make this year as regards further accelerating our growth and I'm sure we'll have options around that", he said.

"The enterprise collaboration and communications market is expected to be worth more than $3bn by 2023 and we are set up to be a market leader in it," said Goulding.

"We began building the platform in 2017 but in 2019 it just really took off for us and we are now seeing big interest and opportunity in the US," he said. "Essentially, we've taken the communications experience people are used to in their personal lives and applied it to business to allow organisations keep people informed."

The lockdown has further fuelled growth as organisations seek ways to maintain effective communication among dispersed staff.

"We're definitely seeing increased market appetite. There is a lot of evidence that remote working can be very effective for organisations and what we are seeing now compressed into one month is a change that would have happened over the next five to 10 years anyhow. There is now such an acceptance of working at home that I don't think it is going to go back to what was normal before all of this," he said.

Zoom has hit the headlines in recent days over security concerns but Goulding said the investment from Yuan was "a fantastic milestone".

"When we showed him our platform he loved it. He was very impressed. He asked us if we would be willing to take him as an investor, which was incredible. He has been fantastic. We've big ambitions, but he is definitely prodding us in the right direction in terms of ambition. We were thinking big. Eric helps us think bigger," he said.

"We're seeing great demand now and we have aggressive plans to grow the business. We're proud of our Cork heritage and will be adding more jobs in the area. We're also seeing significant interest from the US, so will also be opening up offices and recruiting over there too."

Sunday Indo Business