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When We Think Culture, We Think Culture Amp

It is far from a novel concept that the most important resource to any business is its people. Employers have been saying this for centuries, yet the everyday employee is often forgotten in conversations on improving the underlying structure and culture of an organization.

This phenomenon, and the associated lag in HR software adoption, has perplexed us for quite some time, particularly when it comes to solutions that directly relate to the employee experience. If the most important resource to your business isn’t happy, why not do something about it? That’s why we are excited to announce our Series C investment in Culture Amp, an employee analytics and feedback platform.

Culture First

Culture Amp puts a business’ employees front and center, giving them a voice in their organization through an easy yet comprehensive survey tool that completes the feedback loop that is often missing within companies. Employees are able to provide their opinions on engagement, development, alignment, leadership, enablement and more. Just as importantly, employers are able to get a pulse on their employee base, identify areas that are going well or need improvement, and put a plan into action to address those areas. This feedback loop leads to management enhancement, reduction of HR-related issues and most importantly, retention of key employees. It is an easy way to collect, understand, and act on employee feedback and is powerful enough that Culture Amp could become the underlying system of engagement for all things employee related.

Employee turnover is costly for any company, yet often flies under the radar as few executives connect the dots between the direct and indirect costs of filling open positions. These costs are exacerbated when that turnover is of top-tier employees, an ever increasing problem in the age we live in today. Between recruiting costs, the cost to train new employees, and the huge losses in productivity that follow employee churn, retaining employees and reducing turnover directly impact a business’s bottom line.

Data, Data, Data

Engagement surveys are great, but how do you glean real insights from them? Data, data, data. Culture Amp captures a wide array of structured and unstructured responses and couples this with extensive demographics data and machine learning to slice and dice cohorts within an organization to find actionable insights. This data can be compared internally over time, across departments and managers, and externally against extensive libraries of data and industry benchmarks to show where an employee falls with respect to competitors or peers. Culture Amp then offers Inspirations, community derived and real-world tested microlearning modules, to promote change within a company.

We took one such survey at Sapphire Ventures. It allowed us to easily identify areas where we were great, like culture and motivation, but also helped us see that we needed to improve our systems enablement and mentorship, both areas we have actively addressed post-survey. In our case, like many others, even small changes by an employer make the work environment a better one and increase efficiency and productivity by a significant amount.

A Voice For The Everyday Employee

One of the first things Didier Elzinga, CEO of Culture Amp, said to me years ago was, “brand is a promise, culture is how you deliver on it.” Those words struck a chord then and continue to do so even more today. To us, culture is the crux of any company, the lifeblood of what you stand for as an organization. Didier and his team live and breathe this culture every day and have set their sights on bringing this same philosophy to every business around the world. They have built a community, one chock full of over 40,000 like-minded People Geeks, who want to give a voice back to the people who matter most to a business, its employees. Culture Amp has created an easy, engaging and effective feedback loop that has been absent for far too long. It’s time to give a voice back to the employee and improve the employment experience for all those involved.

We couldn’t be happier to join the Culture Amp team and look forward to the journey ahead!


The opinions expressed here represent those of the author and not necessarily the views of Sapphire Ventures. The data contained herein have been obtained from sources believed reliable, but the accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed.

Nothing presented herein is intended to constitute investment advice and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Sapphire Ventures does not solicit or make its services available to the public.

The investment identified above does not represent all of the investments made or recommended by Sapphire Ventures, and was not selected based on the return on Sapphire Ventures’ investment in it. It should not be assumed that any current or future investments were or will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

A complete list of Sapphire Ventures’ direct investments, as well as IPOs and M&A exits, across our pooled investment vehicles is as follows and can be viewed here