Bonusly, the platform for employee recognition, raises $9 million Series A – TechCrunch


Bonusly, a platform that involves the entire organization in recognizing employees and rewarding them, closed on a $9 million Series A financing round led by Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and existing investor FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.

Bonusly launched in 2013 when cofounder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the opportunity to reinvent the way employers and colleagues recognize and reward their employees/coworkers.

“I knew that, in order to be successful, companies would be shifting their approach to employee experience and I thought software could enable that shift,” said Crawford-Marks. “Bonusly was this elegant idea of empowering employees to give each other timely frequent and meaningful recognition that would not only benefit employees because they would feel recognized but also surface previously hidden information to the entire company about who was working with whom and on what and what strengths they were bringing to the workplace.”

Most employers use year-end bonuses and performance reviews to motivate workers, with some employers providing some physical rewards.

Bonusly thinks recognition should happen year round. The platform works with the employers on their overall budget for recognition and rewards, and breaks that down into ‘points’ that are allotted to all employees at the organization.

These employees can give out points to other coworkers, whether they’re direct reports or managers or peers, at any time throughout the year. Those points translate to a monetary value that can be redeemed by the employee at any time, whether it’s through PayPal as a cash reward or with one of Bonusly’s vendor partners, including Amazon, Tango Card, and Cadooz. Bonusly also partners with nonprofit organizations to let employees redeem their points via charitable donation.

In fact, Crawford-Marks noted that Bonusly users just crossed the $500K mark for total donations, and have donated more than $100k to the WHO in six weeks.

Bonusly integrates with several collaboration platforms including Gmail and Slack to give users the flexibility to give points in whatever venue they choose. Bonusly also has a feed, not unlike social media sites like Twitter, that show employees who has received recognition in real time.

The company has also built in some technical features to help with usability. For example, Bonusly understands the social organization of a company, surfacing the most relevant folks in the point feed based on who employees have given or received points to/from in the past. In a company with tens of thousands of employees, this keeps Bonusly relevant.

Bonusly has also incorporated tools for employers, including an auto-scale button for employers with workers in multiple jurisdictions or companies. The button allows employers to scale up or down the point allotments in different geographies based on cost of living.

There are also privacy controls on Bonusly that allow high-level employees and leadership to give each other recognition for projects that may not be widely known about at the company yet, like say for an acquisition that was completed.

Bonusly says that peer-to-peer recognition is more powerful than manager-only recognition, saying its nearly 36 percent more likely to have better financial outcomes.

The company also cites research that says that a happy workforce raises business productivity by more than 30 percent.

Bonusly competes with Kazoo and Motivocity, and Crawford-Marks says that the biggest differentiation factor is participation.

“We set a very high bar for how we measure participation and engagement in the platform,” he said. “You’ll see other companies claiming really high participation rates but typically if you dig into that they’re talking about getting recognition every six months or every year or just logging in, rather than giving recognition every single month, month over month.”

He noted that 75 percent of employees on average give recognition in the first month of deployment with an organization, and that number gradually increases over time. By the two-year mark, 80 percent of employees are giving recognition every month.

Bonusly has raised a total of nearly $14 million in funding since inception.

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This has been an incredibly tough week after a string of tough weeks. The killing of George Floyd showed yet again that…

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Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, May 29, 2020

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In a statement posted to Facebook late Friday afternoon, Mark Zuckerberg offered up an explanation of why his company did not contextualize or remove posts from the accounts associated with President Donald Trump that appeared to incite violence against American citizens. “We looked very closely at the post that discussed the protests in Minnesota to […]

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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 21: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departing on Marine One May 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump is scheduled to visit a Ford manufacturing plant that is currently producing ventilators in Michigan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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After applying a fact-checking labelu00a0Tuesday to a misleading vote-by-mail tweet made by U.S. President Donald Trump, Twitter is on a roll and has labeled another of the president’s tweets — this time screening his words from casual view with what it calls a “public interest notice” that states the tweet violated its rules about glorifying violence.u00a0

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Here’s how the tweet appears without further interaction (second tweet in the below screengrab):

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The public interest notice replaces the substance of what Trump wrote, meaning a user has to actively click through to view the offending tweet.

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Engagement options are also limited as a result by this label, meaning users can only retweet the offending tweet with a comment; they cannot like it, reply to it or vanilla retweet it.

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Twitter’s notice goes on to explain why it has not removed the offending tweet entirely — and this is where the public interest element of the policy kicks in — with the company writing: “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”u00a0

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Twitter appears to be shrugging off the president’s decision yesterday to sign an executive order targeting the legal shield that internet companies rely on to protect them from liability for user-created content — doubling down on displeasing Trump, who has accused social media platforms generally of deliberately suppressing conservative views despite plenty of evidence that ad-targeting platform algorithms actually boost outrage-fuelled content and views — which tends, conversely, to amplify conservative viewpoints.

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In the latest clash, Trump had tweeted in reference to violent demonstrations taking place in Minneapolis sparked by the killing of a black man, George Floyd, by a white police officer — with the president claiming that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd” before threatening to send in the “Military.”

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“Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Trump added — making a bald threat to use military force against civilians.

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Twitter has wrestled with the issue of how to handle world leaders who break its content rules for years. Most often as a result of Trump, who routinely uses its platform to bully all manner of targets — from rival politicians to hated journalists, disobedient business leaders and even actors who displease him — as well as to dispense direct and sometimes violent threats.

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Since being elected, Trump has also used Twitter’s global platform as a foreign policy weapon, firing military threats at the likes of North Korea and Iran in tweet form.

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Back in 2018, for example, he teased North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with button-pushing nuclear destruction (see below tweet) — before going on to “fall in love” with the dictator when he met him in person.

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Twitter’s go-to defence for not taking offending Trump tweets down in the past has been that, as U.S. president, the substance of what the man tweets — however mad, bad and dangerous — is inherently newsworthy.

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However, more recently, the company has created a policy tool that allows it to intervene — defining terms last summer around “public interest” content on Twitter.

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It warned then (almost a full year ago, in June 2019) that it might place a public interest notice on tweets that would otherwise violate its rules (and therefore merit a takedown) — in order to “to provide additional context and clarity,” rather than removing the offensive tweet.

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Fast forward a year and the tech giant has started applying labels to Trump’s tweets — beginning with a fact-check label earlier this week, related to the forthcoming U.S. election, and following up now with a public interest notice related to Trump glorifying violence.

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So, finally, the tech giant seems to be inching toward drawing a limit-line around Trump in near real time.

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Explaining its decision to badge the U.S. president’s threat to order the military to shoot looters in Minneapolis, the company writes: “This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”

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“We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” Twitter goes on.

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It also links to its policy against tweets that glorify violence — which states unequivocally [in bold]: “You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”

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Back in June, when Twitter announced the “abusive behavior” label, it also warned that tweets that get screened with a public interest notice will not benefit from any algorithmic acceleration, writing: “Weu2019ll also take steps to make sure the Tweet is not algorithmically elevated on our service, to strike the right balance between enabling free expression, fostering accountability and reducing the potential harm caused by these Tweets.”

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However the newsworthiness of Twitter’s decision to finally apply its own rules vis-a-vis Trump will ensure there’s plenty of non-algorithmic amplification (and no little irony).

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We reached out to the company with questions about its decision to apply a public interest screen on Trump’s latest tweet but at the time of writing it had not responded.

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On Wednesday night, Twitter CEO and co-founder, Jack Dorsey, put out a series of tweets defending its decision to apply a fact-check label to Trump’s earlier misleading tweets about vote-by-mail.

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“This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth,'” wrote Dorsey. “Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves. More transparency from us is critical so folks can clearly see the why behind our actions.”

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Dorsey’s remarks followed pointed comments made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Fox News, seeking to contrast Facebook’s claimed “neutrality” when policing its platform with Twitteru2019s policy of taking a stance on issues such as political advertising (which Twitter does not allow).

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u201cI just believe strongly that Facebook shouldnu2019t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,u201d Zuckerberg told the conservative news station. u201cPrivate companies u2026 especially these platform companies, shouldnu2019t be in the position of doing that.u201d

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It’s notable that Dorsey used Zuckerberg’s exact turn of phrase — u201carbiter of truthu201d — to reject Facebook’s attack on Twitter’s policy as a straw man argument.

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Update I, Trump reacts: In early reaction to Twitter’s move the Trump administration has now quote-retweeted the offending tweet from the official White House Twitter account — reamplifying the president’s violent threat.

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Trump has also reiterated his threat to regulate social media by revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in a new series of tweets this morning — accusing Twitter of ignoring “lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party.”

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Update II, Whack-a-mole: Twitter has now screened the quote-tweeted copy of Trump’s tweet that the administration sent from the White House Twitter account.

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After applying a fact-checking labelu00a0Tuesday to a misleading vote-by-mail tweet made by U.S. President Donald Trump, Twitter is on a roll and has labeled another of the president’s tweets — this time screening his words from casual view with what it calls a “public interest notice” that states the tweet violated its rules about glorifying […]

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 30: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the beginning of a meeting with small business people in the Roosevelt Room at the White House January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. During the meeting, Trump said he will announce his ‘unbelievably highly respected’ pick to replace the late Supreme Court Antonin Scalia on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Week in Apps: Facebook launches trio of app experiments, TikTok gets spammed, plus coronavirus impacts on app economy"},"content":{"rendered":"

Welcome back to Thisu00a0Weeku00a0in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

n

The app industry is as hot as ever, withu00a0a recordu00a0204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are nowu00a0spendingu00a0three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps arenu2019t just a way to pass idle hours u2014 theyu2019re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had au00a0combinedu00a0$544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

n

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

n

This week weu2019re continuing to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile applications, with fresh data from App Annie about trends playing out across app categories benefiting from the pandemic, lockdowns and societal changes. We’re also keeping up with the COVID-19 contact-tracing apps making headlines, and delving into the week’s other news.

n

We saw a few notable new apps launch this week, including HBO’s new streaming service HBO Max, plus three new app experiments from Facebook’s R&D group. Android Studio 4.0 also launched this week. Instagram is getting better AR tools and IGTV is getting ads. TikTok got spammed in India.

n

Meanwhile, what is going on with app review? A shady app rises to the top of the iPhone App Store. Google cracks down on conspiracy theory-spreading apps. And a TikTok clone uses a pyramid scheme-powered invite system to rise up the charts.

n

COVID-19 contact-tracing apps in the newsu00a0

n

    n

  • Latvia: Reuters this week reported that Latvia aims to become one of the first countries to launch a smartphone app, Stop Covid, using the new toolkit created by Apple and Alphabetu2019s Google to help trace coronavirus infections.
  • n

  • Australia: The role of the country’s Covidsafe app in the recovery appears to be marginal, The Guardian reports. In the month since its launch, only one person has been reported to have been identified using data from it. A survey even found that Australians were more supportive of using telecommunications metadata to track close contacts (79%) than they were of downloading an app (69.8%). In a second survey, their support for the app dropped to 64%. The app has been maligned by the public debate over it and technical issues.
  • n

  • France: The country’s data protection watchdog, CNIL, reviewed its contact-tracing app StopCovid, finding there were no major issues with the technical implementation and legal framework around StopCovid, with some caveats. France isn’t using Google and Apple’s contact-tracing API, but instead uses a controversial centralized contact-tracing protocol called ROBERT. This relies on a central server to assign a permanent ID and generate ephemeral IDs attached to this permanent ID. CNIL says the app will eventually be open-sourced and it will create a bug bounty. On Wednesday, the app passed its first vote in favor of its release.
  • n

  • Qatar: Serious security vulnerabilities in Qataru2019s mandatory contact-tracing app were uncovered by Amnesty International. An investigation by Amnestyu2019s Security Lab discovered a critical weakness in the configuration of Qataru2019s EHTERAZ contact-tracing app. Now fixed, the vulnerability would have allowed cyberattackers to access highly sensitive personal information, including the name, national ID, health status and location data of more than one million users.
  • n

  • India: India’s contact-tracing app, Aarogya Setu, is going open-source, according to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney on Tuesday. The code is being published on GitHub. Nearly 98% of the app’s more than 114 million users are on Android. The government will also offer a cash bounty of $1,325 to security experts who find bugs or vulnerabilities.
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  • Switzerland: Several thousand people are now testing a pilot version of Switzerland’s contact-tracing app, SwissCovid. Like Lativia, the app is one of the first to use Apple and Google’s contact-tracing API. Employees at EPFL, ETH Zurich, the Army and select hospitals and government agencies will be the first to test the Swiss app before its public launch planned for mid-June.
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  • China: Chinau2019s health-tracking QR codes, embedded in popular WeChat and Alipay smartphone apps, are raising privacy concerns, Reuters reports. To walk around freely, people must have a green rating. They also now have to present their health QR codes to gain entry into restaurants, parks and other venues. These efforts have been met with little resistance. But the eastern city of Hangzhou has since proposed that users are given a color-coded health badge based on their medical records and lifestyle habits, including how much they exercised, their eating and drinking habits, whether they smoked and how much they slept the night before. This suggestion set off a storm of criticism on China’s Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.
  • n

n

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VCs share their bets on the future of work"},"content":{"rendered":"

As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, Charles River Ventures general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch.

n

And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking for products and services that foster true connection among a distributed workforce, as well as a distributed society.

n

But the future of work doesn’t just entail spinning up home offices. It also involves gig workers, freelancers, hiring tools, tools for workplace organizing and automation. The last couple of years have particularly brought tech organizing to the forefront. Whether it was the Google walkout in 2018 or gig workers’ ongoing actions against companies like Uber, Lyft and Instacart for better pay and protections, there are many opportunities to help workers better organize and achieve their goals.

n

Below, we’ve gathered insights from:

n

n

Saar Gur, Charles River Venturesu00a0

n

What are you most excited about in the future of work?

n

Future of work is one of the most exciting opportunities in venture.u00a0u00a0

n

Pre-COVID, few tech companies were fully remote. While it seems obvious in retrospect, the building blocks for fully remote technology companies now exist (e.g. high-speed internet, SaaS and the cloud, reliable video streaming, real-time documents, etc.). And while SIP may be temporary, we feel the TAM of fully remote companies will grow significantly and produce a number of exciting investment opportunities.

n

I donu2019t think we have fully grokked what it means to run a company digitally. Today, most processes like interviewing, meetings and performance/activity tracking still live in the world of atoms versus bits. As an example, imagine every meeting is recorded, transcribed and searchable — how would that transform how we work?u00a0u00a0u00a0

n

There is an opportunity to re-imagine how we work. And we are excited about products that solve meaningful problems in the areas of productivity, brainstorming, communication tools, workflows and more. We also see a lot of potential in infrastructure required to facilitate remote and global teams.

n

We are also excited by companies that are enabling new types of work. Companies like Etsy (founded 2005), Shopify (2004), TaskTabbit (2008), Uber (2009), DoorDash (2013) and Patreon (2013) have helped create a new workforce of entrepreneurs. But many of these companies are over a decade old and we fully expect a new wave of companies that give more power to the individual.

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As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, Charles River Ventures general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch. And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking […]

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Intuitively, stores that sell online should be making a killing during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, everyone is stuck at home u2014 and understandably more willing to shop online instead of at a traditional retailer to avoid putting themselves and others at medical risk. But the truth is, most smaller online stores have seen better days.

n

The primary challenge is that smaller shops often donu2019t have the logistics networks that companies like Amazon do. Consequently, theyu2019re seeing substantially delayed delivery timelines, especially if they ship internationally. Customers obviously arenu2019t thrilled about that reality. And in many cases, theyu2019re requesting refunds at a staggering rate.

n

I saw this play out firsthand in April. At that point, my stores were down 20% or in some cases even 30% in revenue. Needless to say, my team was freaking out. But thereu2019s one thing we did that helped us increase our revenue over 200% since the pandemic, decrease refund requests and even strengthen our existing customer relationships.

n

We implemented a 24-hour live chat in all of our stores. Hereu2019s why it worked for us and why every digital brand should be doing it too.

n

Avoid the common u2018unreachabilityu2019 frustration

n

When I started my first online store in 2006, challenges that bogged my team down often meant that my teamu2019s first priority became resolving those challenges so that we could serve our customers faster. But admittedly, when these challenges came up, it became more difficult to balance communicating with our customers and resolving the issues that prevented us from fulfilling their orders quickly.

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Customers donu2019t just forget about the companies that treated them well u2014 and post-crisis, theyu2019ll be more likely to return to the vendors who gave them a good experience.

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Due to COVID-19, business continuity has been put to the test for many companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, transport, hospitality, energy and retail sectors. Cost reduction is the primary focus of companies in these sectors due to massive losses in revenue caused by this pandemic. The other side of the crisis is, however, significantly different.

n

Companies in industries such as medical, government and financial services, as well as cloud-native tech startups that are providing essential services, have experienced a considerable increase in their operational demands — leading to rising operational costs. Irrespective of the industry your company belongs to, and whether your company is experiencing reduced or increased operations, cost optimization is a reality for all companies to ensure a sustained existence.

n

One of the most reliable measures for cost optimization at this stage is to leverage elastic services designed to grow or shrink according to demand, such as cloud and managed services. A modern product with a cloud-native architecture can auto-scale cloud consumption to mitigate lost operational demand. What may not have been obvious to startup leaders is a strategy often employed by incumbent, mature enterprises — achieving cost optimization by leveraging managed services providers (MSPs). MSPs enable organizations to repurpose full-time staff members from impacted operations to more strategic product lines or initiatives.

n

Why companies need cost optimization in the long run

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The landscape shifts quickly, but managed services providers enable organizations to repurpose full-time staff members from impacted operations to more strategic product lines or initiatives.

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views on the future of retail and the shopping experience"},"content":{"rendered":"

The global spread of COVID-19 and resulting orders to shelter in place have hit retailers hard.

n

As the pandemic drags on, temporary halts are becoming permanent closures, whether itu2019s the coffee shop next door, a historic bar or a well-known lifestyle brand.

n

But while the present is largely bleak, preparing for the future has retailers adopting technologies faster than ever. Their resilience and innovation means retail will look and fee different when the world reopens.

n

We gathered four views on the future of retail from the TechCrunch team:

n

    n

  • Natasha Mascarenhas says retailers will need to find new ways to sell aspirational products u2014 and what was once cringe-worthy might now be considered innovative.
  • n

  • Devin Coldewey sees businesses adopting a slew of creative digital services to prepare for the future and empower them without Amazonu2019s platform.
  • n

  • Greg Kumparak thinks the delivery and curbside pickup trends will move from pandemic-essentials to everyday occurrences. He thinks that retailers will need to find new ways to appeal to consumers in a u201cshopping-by-proxyu201d world.
  • n

  • Lucas Matney views a revitalized interest in technology around the checkout process, as retailers look for ways to make the purchasing experience more seamless (and less high-touch).
  • n

n

Alexa, how do I look?

n

Natasha Mascarenhas

n

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

While the present is largely bleak, preparing for the future has retailers adopting technologies faster than ever. Their resilience and innovation means retail will look and fee different when the world reopens.

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Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at TechCrunch covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before TechCrunch, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.

nn

Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/x9fberhwpqwxusvvlxfj","twitter":"nmasc_","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}},{"id":12084691,"name":"Devin Coldewey","url":"https://coldewey.cc","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/devin-coldewey/","slug":"devin-coldewey","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"http://techcrunch.com/author/tcdevin","twitter":"http://twitter.com/techcrunch","linkedin":"http://www.linkedin.com/company/techcrunch","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/devin-coldewey"},"position":"Writer & Photographer","cbDescription":"

Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He first wrote for TechCrunch in 2007. He has also written for MSNBC.com, NBC News, DPReview, The Economist/GE's Look Ahead, and others.

nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1458774381/r4iwkrm6qsw3n2ximghe.jpg","twitter":"techcrunch","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/12084691"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}},{"id":5188242,"name":"Greg Kumparak","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/greg-kumparak/","slug":"greg-kumparak","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"http://www.kumparak.com","twitter":"https://twitter.com/grg","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/greg-kumparak"},"position":"Editor","cbDescription":"

Greg Kumparak is an editor at TechCrunch.

nn

Greg started at TechCrunch in May of 2008. He led TechCrunch's sister site MobileCrunch as editor until AOL acquired the company in 2010, at which point the editors of TechCrunch's four main sites (TechCrunch, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, TechCrunch UK) merged the sites under one domain.

nn

Best known for his gadget coverage, Kumparak has broken hundreds of stories within the space u2014 unearthing details on everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He's also one of the Internet's most prolific "live bloggers", having reported from the scene at dozens of international events for live audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

nn

He was one of the earliest writers to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become "unicorns" (reaching a valuation of $1B or more), including Zenefits and Twilio.

nn

Kumparak is a frequent guest on TechCrunch's Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and often appears on stage as an interviewer or judge at TechCrunch's meetups and Disrupt conferences.

nn

In 2012, Greg was featured on the BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other outlets for a side project he called the "tARdis", or the Augmented Reality TARDIS. By combining augmented reality with a handmade physical model, Greg was able to replicate the otherwise physically impossible "bigger on the inside" visual effect that commonly appears on television's Doctor Who series.

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

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Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at TechCrunch covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before TechCrunch, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.

nn

Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.

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Bonusly, a platform that involves the entire organization in recognizing employees and rewarding them, closed on a $9 million Series A financing round led by Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and existing investor FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.

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Bonusly launched in 2013 when cofounder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the opportunity to reinvent the way employers and colleagues recognize and reward their employees/coworkers.

n

“I knew that, in order to be successful, companies would be shifting their approach to employee experience and I thought software could enable that shift,” said Crawford-Marks. “Bonusly was this elegant idea of empowering employees to give each other timely frequent and meaningful recognition that would not only benefit employees because they would feel recognized but also surface previously hidden information to the entire company about who was working with whom and on what and what strengths they were bringing to the workplace.”

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Most employers use year-end bonuses and performance reviews to motivate workers, with some employers providing some physical rewards.

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Bonusly thinks recognition should happen year round. The platform works with the employers on their overall budget for recognition and rewards, and breaks that down into ‘points’ that are allotted to all employees at the organization.

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These employees can give out points to other coworkers, whether they’re direct reports or managers or peers, at any time throughout the year. Those points translate to a monetary value that can be redeemed by the employee at any time, whether it’s through PayPal as a cash reward or with one of Bonusly’s vendor partners, including Amazon, Tango Card, and Cadooz. Bonusly also partners with nonprofit organizations to let employees redeem their points via charitable donation.

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In fact, Crawford-Marks noted that Bonusly users just crossed the $500K mark for total donations, and have donated more than $100k to the WHO in six weeks.

n

Bonusly integrates with several collaboration platforms including Gmail and Slack to give users the flexibility to give points in whatever venue they choose. Bonusly also has a feed, not unlike social media sites like Twitter, that show employees who has received recognition in real time.

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The company has also built in some technical features to help with usability. For example, Bonusly understands the social organization of a company, surfacing the most relevant folks in the point feed based on who employees have given or received points to/from in the past. In a company with tens of thousands of employees, this keeps Bonusly relevant.

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Bonusly has also incorporated tools for employers, including an auto-scale button for employers with workers in multiple jurisdictions or companies. The button allows employers to scale up or down the point allotments in different geographies based on cost of living.

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There are also privacy controls on Bonusly that allow high-level employees and leadership to give each other recognition for projects that may not be widely known about at the company yet, like say for an acquisition that was completed.

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Bonusly says that peer-to-peer recognition is more powerful than manager-only recognition, saying its nearly 36 percent more likely to have better financial outcomes.

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The company also cites research that says that a happy workforce raises business productivity by more than 30 percent.

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Bonusly competes with Kazoo and Motivocity, and Crawford-Marks says that the biggest differentiation factor is participation.

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“We set a very high bar for how we measure participation and engagement in the platform,” he said. “You’ll see other companies claiming really high participation rates but typically if you dig into that they’re talking about getting recognition every six months or every year or just logging in, rather than giving recognition every single month, month over month.”

n

He noted that 75 percent of employees on average give recognition in the first month of deployment with an organization, and that number gradually increases over time. By the two-year mark, 80 percent of employees are giving recognition every month.

n

Bonusly has raised a total of nearly $14 million in funding since inception.

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Bonusly, a platform that involves the entire organization in recognizing employees and rewarding them, closed on a $9 million Series A financing round led by Access Venture Partners. Next Frontier Capital, Operator Partners, and existing investor FirstMark Capital also participated in the round. Bonusly launched in 2013 when cofounder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the […]

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She has written for publications such as Mobile Marketer and MobileBurn.

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She is now a Managing Editor at TechCrunch.

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You can email her at jordan@techcrunch.com.

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Jordan Crook is a Managing Editor based out of Brooklyn, NY. She writes about internet culture, social networks, and consumer-facing technology. Jordan leads programming on TechCrunch's flagship event, the world-renowned Disrupt conference. You may recognize her from her appearances hosting that event and moderating panels and fireside chats.

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She has written for publications such as Mobile Marketer and MobileBurn.

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She is now a Managing Editor at TechCrunch.

nn

You can email her at jordan@techcrunch.com.

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