Speedinvest Blog

Managing Employees not Working at a Desk: Market Spotlight on Sona

by 

Yang Tran

August 10, 2021

Tons of software for office workers, but why is nobody building it for deskless workers?

The last decades have produced a plethora of tooling for office workers ranging from collaboration-, to virtual office- or video tools, but deskless workers have been left behind. But more than two billion people, which is 80% of the world’s workforce – are not spending their day at a desk. This large and distributed workforce is often overlooked when it comes to the new emerging productivity software in the workplace and still deals with antiquated paper based processes along with a large aging legacy software landscape. 

Thanks to the increasing adoption of mobile devices, these neglected deskless workers are filling the technology gap by themselves. According to Emergence’s latest “State of Technology for the Deskless Workforce” report, more than 50% of the deskless workers use their personal devices to be more productive. 

Sona is looking to change this by offering a mobile app solution targeted exactly to tackle these problems and digitise the daily workflows of deskless workers.

Huge market coupled with a generational shift

Not only is this an antiquated, paper-based industry, but also a large underserved market opportunity ready to be disrupted. According to Gartner’s Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications, “organizations with many hourly and blue-collar workers are increasingly investing in workforce management (WFM) applications to transform the employee experience.”

The sheer size of the opportunity is enormous. Some of the most important deskless industries employ billions of workers, such as: agriculture (858m), manufacturing (427m), retail (497m), construction (265m), healthcare (148m), transportation (189m), and hospitality (122m). 

Generational shift: More and more young people are entering the deskless worker space. Moreover, they are more tech savvy and will demand  more digital solutions than previous generations. 

The COVID-19 effect

COVID-19 has revealed what the downsides of an "offline workforce” can be and businesses are now rushing to digitize their frontline. However, while office workers could switch to working from home, businesses with frontline workers were forced to totally change the way they operate. This made us realize how hard these jobs are and that they deserve appropriate tooling.

Hence, many industries are planning to increase spending on deskless technology, focusing on productivity, employee experience and compliance. 

Due to COVID-19,   Gartner’s Workforce management overview has even added an additional section of features. Next to the list of core features like scheduling, task management, time management - now there are also features like touchless check in, health check surveys and contact tracing.

source: Gartner

Experienced team with a passion to improve the experience of deskless workers

When we met the team, we were impressed by their energy and passion for the space which enables them to move fast and quickly incorporate customer feedback. Not only do they have experience in B2B, but also know how to build massive companies. Steffen started his career in Banking, ran Rocket Internet in the UK and then co-founded Lazada. He then started Catapult together with co-founders Oli and Ben who are also his co-founders at Sona.

Our investment in Sona enables the team to double down on their early successes. Their experience and vision paired with their proven ability to execute leave us confident in their ability to tackle the massive deskless worker software space. We couldn’t be more excited to take this ride together with the team. 

If you want to learn more about Sona: sona.is


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