Tahora, the social platform aimed at helping employees find a sense of belonging at work, has raised over £825,0000 of seed funding to onboard more blue chip organisations and expand its Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
The London-based company was co-founded in early 2020 by Ben Towers and Mike Rose. Ben Towers is a 22 year old entrepreneur, already a veteran on the speaker circuit at business events around the world and “buddy” (dragon) in “Pocket Money Pitch”, the BBC series for young entrepreneurs.
He started his first successful business at 11 and exited at 18. Mike Rose, 29, left investment banking to help scale up two successive Berlin-based VC-backed start-ups, before returning to the UK last year to found Tahora.
Tahora, named from a combination of the Maori words Tahi (together) and Ora (good health), raised its capital during the 2020 lockdown period, presenting to investors entirely online. Early backers include former Group HR Director of BP Dr. Helmut Schuster, former CFO and CCO of Three UK, Richard Woodward and Rob Wilmot, serial tech entrepreneur and one of the youngest ever FTSE 100 executive officers at the age of 29 (with Freeserve).
Ben Towers says: “Social distancing, office closures and working from home during the Covid pandemic have brought into focus a longer term challenge for companies. We are the most connected generation yet we are still disconnected from each other. We go to work not feeling a part of something, spending our day working with our colleagues whom we lack deeper connection with. In the past companies have dismissed this as a nice-to-have but recent studies show the link between belonging and productivity and business financial success when our working environment meets our needs as human beings.”
According to recent research from Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work and the economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.
Tahora co-founder Mike Rose says: “Employee engagement and happiness is even more business critical in an age of hybrid working models. There has never been a more important time to encourage in-person interaction, improved connection and greater inclusion within the workplace. Companies who do not invest in the workplace experience for their employees will see a breakdown in communication, drop in performance and staff retention issues.”