Singapore startup, StaffAny, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round led by technology investment firm FreakOut Holdings, Inc. and angel investors.
Its angel investors include Kenji Niwa, an HR tech entrepreneur, and Lim Qing Ru, Kwok Yang Bin and Royston Tay, co-founders of Zopim, a live-chat software company acquired by Zendesk in 2014.
The funds will be used to support StaffAny’s growth and expansion plans.
In addition to the $1 million seed funding, StaffAny has previously received grant funding totalling $75,000 from NUS, Enterprise SG and StartupX.
StaffAny is supported by NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS.
The solution is described as “a workforce management application” that helps HR and operations “better manage hourly workers” especially in the F&B and retail sectors.
Its enterprise software helps businesses schedule staff, provides an on-site clock, smart timesheets, lets staff apply for leave easily, and managers can generate reports in real-time.
This eliminates the manual consolidation work and allows staff to manage their time better.
For instance, the Scheduler feature in StaffAny’s software lets managers schedule staff quickly across multiple outlets.
Once the schedule is set or amended, staff involved will be notified via the mobile app.
The feature also shows which staff are on leave and who are available, displays labour costs at a glance, and manages overtime hours so businesses stay compliant with labour laws.
Instead of clocking-in and out with physical punch cards, the Timeclock feature lets staff check-in for their shift with their mobile phones or through secure cloud technology methods like QR codes, GPS, or Wi-Fi.
Managers will get real-time updates and easily track staff locations.
StaffAny’s Smart Timesheets function records and calculates employees’ work data accurately, and it’s accessible and transparent to staff.
The software integrates with other payroll providers, such as Talenox and Payboy, and prevents poor performance by reminding employees of their upcoming shifts.
A Much-Needed Solution For A Longtime Problem
Janson Seah’s love for the F&B industry led him to work at a bar in 2013, where he was in charge of sales and operations.
His job required him to plan staff schedules based on the availability of part-timers.
The paperwork involved was tedious and prone to errors, resulting in payroll mistakes and conflict.
On top of that, he had to manage staff expectations while meeting operational requirements; so if staff reported late to work or went absent without notice, it affected day-to-day operations.
It was a problem he wanted to solve.
In 2014, he decided to pursue a degree in Economics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and participated in the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) Programme in his third year of studies.
It was in one of the entrepreneurship modules where he met his co-founders Jeremy Hon and Lee Kai Yi.
Later, Janson’s army friend and a graduate of the NOC Program in Shanghai, Eugene Ng, joined their ranks as co-founder.
Together with Chow Jia Yi, a graduate of the NOC Programme in Beijing, they formally incorporated the business in the last year of their studies with the support of angel investor, Kenji Niwa.
Good Growth And Happy Customers In A Year
Since beginning its operations in May 2018, StaffAny now serves about 70 businesses as customers, managing over 2,000 staff every month across 130 outlets.
To date, the software has helped to schedule over 100,000 shifts, with nearly 700,000 hours tracked.
In the face of a manpower crunch in the F&B and retail sectors, StaffAny is seen as a welcome solution that helps address this demand, the startup said in a statement.
Yuzuru Honda, Founder & Global CEO of FreakOut Holdings, Inc. said, “We believe that StaffAny is aligned with our vision of creating better value in the world through their advanced technology in building a connected workforce.”
“Even more so for the brick-and-mortar stores, which have been slow to receive the benefits of technology improvement.”
Head of HR at Ippudo Singapore, Karen Lee said they use StaffAny because it gives them a better overview of daily operations in real-time.
“This allows us to better plan and adjust multi-branch operations seamlessly,” she added.
“For example, using StaffAny, I can now redeploy staff across different outlets, meaning I can keep a leaner headcount and redistribute labour in response to real-time changes in demand.”
Another satisfied StaffAny customer claimed that they now “[take] just one person a few hours to generate payroll for all their 30 staff” when previously it took three days and several people.
Implementing StaffAny has also reduced staff tardiness by about 50%, according to a manager of a bar located in a hotel at Orchard Road.
Director of KKSC Pte. Ltd., Samuel Low, who runs the Killiney Kopitiam chain and the Orh Gao Taproom bar, also praised the effectiveness of StaffAny.
“Scheduling using StaffAny is super intuitive and easily customisable. It has freed up a lot of my time, allowing me to focus more on running both businesses and improving customer satisfaction.”
“In addition, the team at StaffAny have been super receptive to feedback and ideas, and execute with relatively quick timelines.”
According to a 2018 labour report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), there are over 735,000 hourly workers in the F&B and retail sectors and another 230,000 part-timers, Janson said in a statement.
“We aim to get 10% of Singapore F&B market share, and then expand overseas.”
“Our long-term goal is to build the easiest workforce management tool in Southeast Asia, bringing a smile to hourly workers and their managers,” Janson shared.