(Pulso Social) In February, GoIntegro put another US$5m in the bank. Kaszek Ventures, Riverwood Capital and Endeavor injected the capital into the company, which has been developing its cloud-based HR engagement platform since 2002.
GoIntegro offers one of Latin America’s leading corporate social platforms, with applications to manage internal communications, corporate benefits, recognition programs and incentives. It boasts more than 300 corporate customers and reaches upwards of one million users each and every day. In 2013, its revenues grew 30%, and this year, it expects them to increase an additional 50%.
With this latest investment, GoIntegro will continue its expansion in the Latin American market – specifically, Mexico and Brazil. And with good reason: its Brazilian business has tripled over the past 12 months.
With a trajectory of over a decade, the GoIntegro founders – Argentines Germán Dyzenchauz and Gastón Lejtman – are industry veterans. They managed to land a US$3 million Series A round from Riverwood and Kaszek in 2012, and this latest funding comes as reaffirmation of the investors’ faith in the company’s ability to deliver.
Dyzenchauz spoke with PulsoSocial about the complexities of social media and gamification in the corporate world and why execution is crucial.
Emily Stewart: You guys have been around for a while. How have you seen your industry develop?
Germán Dyzenchauz: What we have seen is a growing focus on people as a key success factor to achieving corporate goals and objectives. Many companies have developed programs to manage performance, retention, leadership development and change; however, we have seen a lot of frustration from current leaders as it relates to dealing with many generations working together, each with their own interests, behaviors, expectations and priorities. We read about these issues all the time in different places, but only those companies that understand they need to adapt their organizations to this new ecosystem (or rules of engagement) between employees and the company are the ones that have a head start in this new era of business. For example, in terms of internal communications, many companies are still fighting against new ways to communicate that are more effective, such as social networks. Instead of embracing them, they are hesitant to implement them, much like what happened with email in the 90s. One would think that we would have learned the lesson as business leaders and would embrace these innovations to gain a competitive advantage.
ES: What, in your opinion, are the most effective ways to get employees engaged?
GD: That is a difficult question, as it varies significantly based on the person, position and generation, as I mentioned previously. Older generations, such as baby boomers, care more about salary, title, office and benefits, and younger generations care more about work-life balance, access to technology and recognition. However, if I were to give a few effective ways to engage employees, I would suggest transparency, participation, empowerment, attention to each person’s interests and needs, and growth opportunities.
ES: How do you convince clients that implementing social platforms in their companies will work?
GD: I don’t, because I don’t know for sure. Again, it depends on each company, its culture, its processes, its people. There is no one recipe that works for everyone. What I do know is that we are in the midst of an important era of innovation in the way we communicate and work. Technology is here to stay, and the longer companies take to embrace it and figure out how they, in particular, can take advantage on the benefits it brings with respect to collaboration, knowledge sharing, empowerment, and management change, the harder it will be for them to play catch-up with their competitors. It’s important to understand that social platforms not only involve a corporate social network, but also social recognition and corporate benefits.
ES: Your main focus is on Brazil and Mexico. Why those two markets? How do they differ?
GD: Those are huge markets for us, and for any other firms doing business in Latin America, for that matter. They are not easy, especially Brazil because of the cultural and language barriers. One thing that we have learned over the years is that you can’t just do exactly the same thing from one country to other. You can apply the same platform, basic processes and approach, but you must adapt to each local market.
ES: You’ve been quite successful in the investment realm. Why do you think that is? What is your approach to funding?
GD: Our approach has been to understand the drivers of our business very well, have a clear vision and plan to achieve it, and to be persistent in our focus to find the right investors that provide a lot of value to help execute the plan, not only from a financial perspective, but also from their experience, knowledge and business network. We have found in Riverwood Capital, Kaszek Ventures and Endeavor the perfect partners to join us in this journey to become a much bigger and successful company.
ES: Do you see this solution going outside of the region?
GD: Who knows? Why not? However, we are not thinking about that yet. We are focused on the execution of our current plan. Right now isn’t the time to think about that. Right now it is all about execution. Execution is everything.