How Yera increases teamwork performance. Interview with startup’s co-founder
The Estonia-based startup Yera develops an all-in-one engagement and reward solution for work teams worldwide. At the end of July, it raised €535,000 investments in a seed round. Together with Specialist VC, which led the funding, Yera welcomed Kaarel Kotkas, the founder of Estonian “Stripe for identity” Veriiff and the former Director of Engineering at Wise Alvar Lumbergas, as investors.
AIN.Capital talked to Eduardo Levenfeld, CEO and co-founder of Yera, about how the startup’s platform helps to boost the employees’ engagement in essential work processes.
What is the idea behind Yera? How did you come up with it?
I and other founders already had several experiences of seeing people starting to work fully engaged but later losing this engagement and connection with what they were doing. The same thing happened in different companies, countries, and cultures.
So, being part of a generation that grew up surrounded by games, we eventually started to wonder what outcomes would be created if daily work was fun, like playing games.
Finally, this led us to find ways to make it into reality and discover several serious research linking game-like elements at work to better outcomes and engagement.
What problems does the startup solve?
Any workplace team with processes to follow, deliverables to deliver, and results to improve can benefit from Yera. Currently, we mainly help sales, support, and customer service teams to improve things like closed deals, response and delivery on time, satisfaction and so on.
Tell us please a bit more about the product. How does it work?
Yera is an employee engagement platform. It allows adding game-like elements to work and connecting achievements to real-life rewards from our perks marketplace.
Giving you a real-life example, you can connect Yera to your sales team tools like a CRM and messenger and immediately add game-like rules to improve not only the number of closed deals but also important things, like doing follow-ups, keeping an updated track of contacts, and more.
In the end, people can exchange their results in our marketplace for different rewards like wellbeing, training, team experiences, or even donating to charity.
What is Yera’s business model? How do you monetize the service?
Our model is composed by monthly subscription (per seat) and revenue from our marketplace.
Who are your target customers? How many customers Yera has already acquired since 2020?
At the moment, for strategic reasons, we are aiming at sales, customer success, and support teams of different industries. But in terms of possibilities, the platform is beneficial for any workplace team.
Next year, we expect to achieve the milestone of five thousand users on our platform. And some examples of well-known companies with which we’re piloting are Helmes and Esto in Estonia, plus teams in Brazil in companies like AmbevTech and Warren.
Share with us other interesting metrics that indicate the startup’s growth path.
There is currently a gigantic crisis of engagement, and according to Gallup research, 79% of employees are disengaged. That means $7.8 trillion lost in productivity, which represents 11% of the global GDP. Our journey is to help on solving this crisis.
Yera has raised a €535k seed investment for product development, and the expansion to new markets. Tell us a little more about the startup’s future plans: what services are you planning to launch/improve, what markets to enter, and why?
Our mission is to help people do their best work and organizations thrive in their potential. And for that, we want to be the gamification layer of the internet.
With that said, we plan to make Yera run on a blockchain, giving rewards and badges transferred to the person’s wallet. Using an analogy of how Google Maps allowed people to collaborate by adding areas in the beginning, we want any organization and even other apps to be able to connect to Yera and immediately start engaging their people, partners, and even customers.