The Future of Work: Why we invested in 1Huddle
Chip Meakem and Nitya Rajendran
There’s a lot of talk about “the future of work” these days. Within this very broad category, we’ve done some deep dives in a few sub-sectors. One area that drew our attention is corporate training. Every company in the world has to train employees, and it’s safe to say that in the future they won’t be reading handbooks or plodding through desktop-based learning management systems.
Welcome 1Huddle, a leader in mobile gamification for workforce training and our most recent investment at Tribeca Venture Partners. With a mobile-first approach to preparing the modern worker, a library of quick burst employee skill games, and simple automated content creation, 1Huddle is changing training from a one-time boring onboarding experience to a continuously used motivation tool.
“Today’s workers don’t have the time or desire to sit through archaic long-form desktop-based training. By mobilizing and gamifying training, Sam and the 1Huddle team are engaging and educating workers the way they actually behave and learn to transform a $300B market.” — Chip Meakem, Managing Partner
Some of the things we like about 1Huddle include:
- Training is massive and the status quo generally sucks: This reality leads to poor job performance and high turnover in many industries. 1Huddle turns training into something people actually like to do. There are 129 million service-related jobs, and many of these roles face high turnover. Further exacerbating this problem is that enterprises spend most of their training dollars on senior-level roles, leaving junior-level employees with few solutions. 1Huddle focuses on service-related as well as customer-facing roles (specifically within retail, hospitality, and restaurants where turnover is high) and is tackling the mid-level and junior-level market. 1Huddle adds a layer of visibility so managers can understand how engaged and knowledgeable their employees are and help them accordingly.
- Macro Tailwind — American workforce wants to upskill: According to a Pew Research Center survey, 54% of American workers believe that training and upskilling will be crucial for workplace success. 35% don’t believe they have the education or skills to progress further in their careers, and about a third believe workplace training programs would be the best way to gain these skills. There is a strong desire among workers to take charge of their destinies so they are prepared for the changing job market.
- Highly engaging, viral user experience: 1Huddle uses quick-burst mobile games to train and motivate employees across the employee lifecycle: recruiting, onboarding, training, and engagement. They have proven that their competitive game platform reduces onboarding time by 50% and leads to 97% knowledge retention, far surpassing live training sessions where employees forget 87% of what they have learned in a month. Many learning management systems (LMS) are often desktop- based, forcing employees to engage with the games during their shift, taking time away from their actual work. 1Huddle leverages the proliferation of mobile to enable employees to play games whenever they’d like (although employers can set limits) and uses friendly competition within organizations to encourage gameplay. In fact, over 70% of games are played outside of working hours. These factors together lead to high virality and employee affinity within organizations.
- Democratizing access to game creation: Unlike their competitors that require technical expertise to build games, 1Huddle empowers managers to create their own games for their employees. As Sam Caucci, CEO and Founder, showed us in our second meeting, it takes only five minutes to make a game.
- Strong founding team: It’s always about the team. We like to back founders who have felt the pain point they are trying to solve. Sam has spent his entire career training and managing sales representatives. He understands this problem deeply and that comes across in everything: product, strategy, approach, and team. Finally, we believe in doing well and doing good. 1Huddle donates its games to the city of Newark, NJ, empowering residents to upskill and prepare for tests and learn practical workplace skills. There’s potential to expand this program to other areas where employment is low to help boost employee preparedness.