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Investment Action Continues in Employee Engagement

Reward GatewayRoll-ups, acquisitions, and investments remain full steam ahead in the employee engagement space.
Private-equity backed Reward Gateway buys employee recognition firm Fond; recognition firm Bonusly Bonuslyraises $18.6 million, and human resources advisory firm Mercer buys five-year-old digital HR firm Leapgen.
MercerReward Gateway, a global HR technology and employee engagement company, has acquired Fond, a US provider of employee recognition, rewards and perks founded in 2012 by CEO Taro Fukuyama. This follows Abry Partners’ and Castik Capital’s recent acquisitions of Reward Gateway, Xexec, a benefits app, and MoveSpring, a fitness tracker.
Nick Burns, CEO of Reward Gateway says, “With continued investment and support from Abry Partners and Castik Capital, we are thrilled to welcome Fond to Reward Gateway. We remain laser focused on advancing the employee experiences that drive engagement, wellbeing, and performance.”
Fond describes itself as a “rewards and recognition platform that helps companies build a happier workforce with an easy-to-use, simplified solution. Our software offers a customizable employee recognition program with monetary and non-monetary rewards that’s fully scalable for your organization. Enterprise customers include Salesforce, Weight Watchers, and MAPCO.”
Says Fukuyama, “Fond has been on an incredible journey since 2012 when we first started helping companies build places where employees love to work. Joining Reward Gateway and Xexec under the Abry Partners and Castik Capital umbrella is an incredible opportunity to further advance our mission on a global scale.”
In other news, Bonusly, a “recognition and rewards platform that connects teams and enriches company culture,” has received $18.9 million in Series B funding led by Ankona Capital. Earlier investors FirstMark Capital, Access Venture Partners, and Next Frontier Capital also participated.
Bonusly, which says it is ranked by G2, a software review firm, as No. 1 in Employee Recognition and No. 3 in Employee Engagement, is reportedly used by top-tier companies including Chobani, ZipRecruiter, Pender Veterinary, and SDMI. Bonusly says its platform creates a culture of recognition “in which employees receive an average of two meaningful, timely, detailed recognitions from peers and managers every week. After deploying Bonusly, more than nine in ten (93%) customers see improved employee engagement,” it says.
The company says its “recognition platform captures and analyzes a treasure trove of real-time data on how organizations really work, communicate and connect, informing HR teams and managers so they can make powerful behavior change throughout an employee population. Bonusly's proprietary graph database enables management to gain a keen understanding of how their company actually functions,” the company claims. “With this information, HR and managers can better help team members continuously improve, foster collaboration and belonging, and assess behavior changes to predict turnover.”
In yet more M&A news, five-year-old Leapgen was acquired by Mercer, a worldwide human resources advisory firm. Leapgen says it provides consulting and on-demand talent for digital HR and people strategy, HR/workforce solutions deployment, and HR/workforce sustainment and value attainment.
Mercer says the acquisition will strengthen its workforce and human resources transformation solutions practice.
The company says that “with 63% of companies in a recent Mercer survey planning to spend more on HR technology in 2023, it’s even more important to ensure the correct mix of technology to realize ROI and business goals.”

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