Bonusly, a startup aiming to help employees get recognized for quality work, raises $18.9M

Employee recognition is a key retention tool in a competitive jobs market. According to a recent SurveyMonkey poll, 82% of staffers consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work, while an equal percentage -- 82% -- report feeling happier overall as a result of receiving (presumably deserved) work recognition. It's not just employees who see the value. In an industry poll, 56% of HR leaders told the Society for Human Resource Management that employee recognition programs help with recruiting top talent.

Perhaps it's unsurprising, then, that startups facilitating employee recognition and the doling out of merit-based rewards have gotten a lot of investor attention. WorkAngel, a mobile-first employee reward and recognition platform, has raised millions of dollars to date from prominent VC backers. So has Fringe, which is developing an HR employee benefits platform with customizable perks.

Another vendor in the space is Bonusly, which was launched in 2013 by founder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks. The startup today announced that it raised $18.9 million in Series B funding led by Ankona Capital with participation from Access Venture Partners, Next Frontier Capital and FirstMark Capital -- bringing its total raised to $32.4 million.

"I ran Bonusly as a side project for a couple of years prior to raising a seed round, and grew the company organically until 2020 when the company raised its first round of funding," Crawford-Marks told TechCrunch in an email interview. "Since our Series A, we have seen our valuation more than triple, despite the multiple compressions that have occurred in today’s market -- a strong recognition of the value we already provide and the even greater opportunity that lies ahead."


Bonusly’s platform attempts to capture and analyze data on how organizations work and connect, informing HR teams and managers. Every month, employees get an allowance to give small bonuses to their colleagues to recognize their contributions. Bonuses appear in a feed so everyone can see the work happening across their team.

As for the bonuses, they can be spent on gift cards from popular brands like Amazon and Hulu, as well as on cash and charitable donations. Crawford-Marks says that Bonusly users receive an average of two recognitions from peers and managers every week.


Image Credits: Bonusly