News & Analysis

HR startup Reffind acquires Pollenizer's employee recognition startup WooBoard

- September 24, 2015 2 MIN READ

Two months after making its ASX debut, Sydney-based HR startup Reffind, whose app helps companies better engage with and train employees, has acquired employee recognition platform WooBoard.

The deal will see $1.25 million of Reffind scrip, or shares, issued six months after completion of the acquisition, and an earn-out of between 900,000 and 2.9 million Reffind shares, which is to be assessed on a sliding scale 12 months from completion and is dependent on WooBoard hitting revenue targets. This saves Reffind’s cash balance of $7 million for its expansion plans.

Reffind will be working the WooBoard platform into a new product, to be called Embrace, which will operate within the same app as its three existing offerings. The deal also provides Reffind with access to WooBoard’s 46-strong customer base and, most importantly, with access to the US market, where WooBoard already has a number of clients, including MetLife and Ultra Mobile.

Jamie Pride, cofounder and managing director of Reffind, said this immediate global presence WooBoard will provide Reffind is set to be “transformational” for the startup.

“We’ve been familiar with the WooBoard business for some time and it complements our existing products perfectly and further positions Reffind as a leader in providing great employee experiences,” he said.

WooBoard, which aims to boost office morale and productivity by allowing employees to recognise and reward good work done by their peers, was founded in 2011 by Phil Morle and Mick Liubinskas at a Pollenizer team bootcamp. Pollenizer was majority shareholder, with the startup also having raised funds from Southern Cross Venture Partners and Elevation Capital.

Liubinskas will be joining the Reffind board as non-executive director as part of the deal. He said WooBoard’s focus on employee experience fits with the ethos of Reffind.

“WooBoard will complement the overall product offering nicely, as companies look to employ talent, engage with them, educate them further, and recognise their achievements in the workplace.”

Pride said Liubinskas’ international experience will prove invaluable to Reffind.

“We look forward to working with him, along with the wider WooBoard team, to grow Reffind into the dominant global force in mobile employee communication.”

The acquisition of WooBoard marks the second successful exit for Pollenizer. Another portfolio company, group buying startup Spreets, was acquired by Yahoo7 for $40 million less than a year after its launch in 2011.

Image: Reffind cofounders Jamie Pride and Ben McGrath.