Employee experience platform raises $2M
Excellent, the New Zealand-founded platform spearheading the employee experience movement through learning, community and accreditation, has raised $2 million in its pre-seed round to further its expansion. Led by venture capital investor Blackbird the raise also included notable support from Icehouse Ventures, K1W1 (owned by Sir Stephen Tindall), and a number of leading founders and […]
Excellent, the New Zealand-founded platform spearheading the employee experience movement through learning, community and accreditation, has raised $2 million in its pre-seed round to further its expansion.
Led by venture capital investor Blackbird the raise also included notable support from Icehouse Ventures, K1W1 (owned by Sir Stephen Tindall), and a number of leading founders and business leaders including Brooke and Leighton Roberts, co-founders and co-CEOs of Sharesies, and Justine Smyth CNZM, Chair at Spark NZ.
Excellent’s purpose is to help business leaders and people managers come together with their employees to redefine what a modern workplace looks like — through the emerging discipline of Employee Experience (EX) Design. The Kiwi company is making it easy for organisations and leaders to co-design experiences with employees, as a community-led platform providing world-class learning and co-design tools tested in real businesses, as well as an accreditation pathway and networking opportunities.
“The pandemic has accelerated a mindset shift where employees are searching for meaningful and enjoyable work experiences, and businesses need to keep up,” says Samantha Gadd, co-founder and CEO. “Excellent was born out of this movement, where we believe employee experience isn’t something leaders alone should be deciding – it’s the people in the company that can best understand and design the ideal work experience. Businesses who embrace this shift will ultimately retain the best talent and enjoy the most success.”
Jenny Busing, co-founder and Chief Growth Officer says Excellent believes in a world where missions are achieved by people who love their work. “Similar to customer experience and user experience, EX is about ensuring employees are getting meaningful value out of their relationship with work, so that they are retained, developing, and most importantly, thriving within the organisation.”
Driven to improve people’s lives, Samantha Gadd founded and led human-centred HR and EX consultancy, Humankind, where she scaled the business for over 10 years working with over 500 organisations across New Zealand, before starting Excellent with her business partner and co-founder, Jenny Busing.
“At Blackbird, thriving workplaces are our religion,” says Phoebe Harrop, Principal at Blackbird. “We’ve invested in many outstanding founders creating a fairer, happier, more engaged future of work: from Culture Amp, to Applied, and more recently Multitudes and The Mintable.
“Our investment in Sam and Jenny is the next chapter in this story. They combine subject-matter expertise and knock-down-walls energy which we believe will allow them to create a thriving global community of EX designers. We’re stoked to be leading this round and can’t wait to see what they and the Excellent team build from here,”
Excellent offers professional membership, EX Design courses, and EX Design accreditation pathways — providing people leaders and HR practitioners access to the tools and inspiration they need to create thriving workplace communities. The platform is setting the standard for EX design with a globally recognised accreditation pathway.
To learn more about Excellent or apply for a membership, visit www.excellent.io.
Photo: Samantha Gadd (left) with Jenny Busing.