HR start-up StaffAny founded by NUS grads raises $1m in seed funding

The team of StaffAny - front row (from left): Co-founder Lee Kai Yi, founding team member Chow Jia Yi, co-founder Janson Seah, co-founder Eugene Ng, software engineer Albert Yeoh and co-founder Jeremy Hon. PHOTO: STAFFANY

SINGAPORE - Home-grown human resource (HR) start-up StaffAny has raised a $1 million seed round led by technology investment company FreakOut Holdings and angel investors.

The money will be used to support the company's growth and expansion plans.

The angel investors include Mr Kenji Niwa, an experienced HR tech entrepreneur; and Zopim co-founders Lim Qing Ru, Kwok Yang Bin and Royston Tay. The firm is a live-chat software company acquired by Zendesk in 2014.

StaffAny was co-founded in early 2018 by four friends - alumni of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Overseas Colleges (NOC) Programme - Janson Seah, Jeremy Hon, Lee Kai Yi and Eugene Ng.

It is a workforce management application that connects HR and operations to better manage hourly workers, which are typically found in the labour-starved food and beverage (F&B) and retail sectors.

Their enterprise software schedules staff and provides an on-site time clock, smart time sheets, leave applications and real-time reports.

StaffAny helps some 70 businesses manage more than 2,000 employees based in 130 outlets.

The start-up also previously received grant funding totalling $75,000 from organisations, including NUS, Enterprise SG and StartupX - a pre-accelerator programme in partnership with Singapore's investment company, Temasek.

It is supported by NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of NUS.

In Singapore, although some sectors have done well to deploy their staff efficiently, for example, the manufacturing sector, other segments such as retail and F&B remain very labour-intensive, StaffAny said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat had mentioned in this year's Budget speech that growth in S Pass and work permit holders in services has been increasing over the past three years and that this trend may be unsustainable.

StaffAny said its solutions help to address such challenges by optimising work processes and redesigning jobs, which translate to lower operating costs and increased productivity.

"We aim to get 10 per cent of Singapore's F&B market share, and then expand overseas. Our long-term goal is to build the easiest workforce management tool in South-east Asia, bringing a smile to hourly workers and their managers," said StaffAny's Mr Seah.

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