It's quite a different world we are living in right now! It's almost impossible to imagine what changes we have all gone through in the past few months. How unexpected and fragile life can be – and how deep, at the same time, our drive is to keep going. Pursuing things further and making this world a Happier Place!
I thought to write this open note to you - our valued customers - who have made our journey possible. Even during tough times, there are always some sparks of joy and light. With this letter I wanted to share a story with you – how we got here, where we are today, and what this new investment means for you.
Grateful, merciful and thankful!
Before I go on with the story, I want to take a moment to sincerely thank you all. Your organizations of all sizes, across all continents, trust Happeo every day to provide an engaging communications platform for your employees. You’ve helped to co-create this new way of communicating – one that will change Internal Communications forever.
The big-bang start of it all
Back in Finland in 2010, Vesa Sironen, Antero Hanhirova and myself started Gapps. We saw a big opportunity to help companies in the Nordics with their cloud transformation. I’ll skip the Gapps backstory and focus on Happeo, but let me just say this: Gapps is an amazing company, and the hard work that they put in made it a success. From that success, the Happeo we know was born.
During our Gapps time we identified a significant and consistent challenge that our customers were facing. There wasn’t an easy-to-use intranet that could be readily integrated with other SaaS tools. In 2016, born from that customer challenge, we decided to create a comprehensive solution for our customers. One they would love. Happeo’s first incarnation, "Universe", was launched later in 2016. In 2017 the company was officially established.
From feature-driven approach to industry disruption
From 2017 until 2018, Universe saw early success, and we expanded from Finland to the rest of Europe. Our first customers - who I’m proud to say are still customers today - were Rovio, Chantelle, Trimble Solutions and Azets. They provided valuable insights and helped us in shaping our future direction. We realized that companies needed a real shift – from a traditionally feature-driven approach to a complete overhaul of the way companies communicate. Change became a keyword, and in 2018, Universe rebranded to Happeo.
The name Happeo comes from Happy people. Happeo focuses on what our customers care about most: their employees. We wanted our name to better reflect our approach, vision and mission, and to remind ourselves everyday that we are here to make people happier.
In 2018, something else became apparent too. We decided that, in order to live up to our Happeo mission, we would first need to collectively focus our efforts on community-driven employee communications. This didn’t mean our ambition for total integration would be abandoned, but rather, we would need to deliver on what matters most – achieving high satisfaction and engagement among the people who rely on the platform for their day-to-day work.
Now end-users can enjoy the benefits of those deep integrations, easing their daily work. In addition, our future integrations and features will create meaningful additions needed to support employee communities. An example of this is our recent Advanced Analytics, which grants the deepest insight into the communications and behavior of an organization that I've ever seen. I believe it to be unique in the marketplace.
Our ties to the community of Internal Communicators
In 2019, the shift in mindset, from feature-driven development, to “disrupt an industry”, brought another amazing development. We’ve been embraced by the community of Internal Communicators! Our efforts to provide you with information and updates about the Internal Comms industry have been incredibly well received. From interactions across our social channels, to online fireside chats, webinars, podcasts, case studies and live presentations – the positive feedback has been humbling. I’m so happy to work for an industry that’s constantly looking to challenge their own status quo – and I’m even happier that some have chosen us as the partner to do so.
Security is in our DNA
Lastly, I have to emphasize another important aspect of not just our product, but our company – Security. In 2019 we attained the coveted ISO 27001 certification, which was the result of our product team’s tireless efforts to make Happeo the most secure platform available for company communications.
Our amazing team of Happsters
I’ve been speaking of our team a little, but let me just say how incredibly proud I am to be a part of a team of 20 different nationalities, spread out through a talent pool that couldn’t have been deeper. Building happier workplaces starts from within. By emphasizing this we’ve managed to attract the best talent across all our departments.
I also want to give a special shout-out to the moms and dads of Happeo – especially now. You’re not just creating happier workplaces, you’re creating happy families! In 2019, we welcomed five new Happsters-in-the-making to the world. It blows my mind and warms my heart to see our people balance being a great parent with being a great professional.
Our continued commitment to our customers
On behalf of the people who make the Happeo team what it is, I want to share our continued commitment to you, with the following three promises:
• We will continue to delight you. “Exceeding expectations” is the name of the game, especially in the world today. You have trusted us with the means to keep your company a cohesive whole while the world battles this virus. That trust will never be misplaced.
• We will continue to tackle technical challenges. From merging multi-domain environments together, to optimizing our platform’s speed and stability during high-use periods, we will do everything we can to never let technicalities get in the way of creating happier workplaces.
• We will continue our co-creation mindset. Your feedback has been crucial, and that’s something we’ll never let go of. As we move forward and increase our development resources, we will continue to create features in line with your feedback and optimize everything we can.
The next chapter
It’s 2020 now, and Happeo is jumping to the next level. We have grown from a European company to a global partner, reaching every corner of the world, helping organizations with their Internal Comms everywhere.
Alongside everything I wanted to share some amazing news that will bring the Happeo platform to the next level. As some of you might have read, I can now officially announce today that Happeo has raised $12 million of funding.
This milestone marks the beginning of a new chapter in Internal Communications. As I hinted at earlier, we have only realized a small portion of our vision so far, and we look forward to bringing you even more integrations and optimizations in the future. This means we will be dedicated to developing the Happeo platform further, better and faster.
In the upcoming months you will be seeing this change in multiple ways across the platform with our newly created User Experience (UX). For 2020, our focus will be to expand into the US and more people will be joining the Happeo family from around the world. We're on a mission to revolutionize Internal Communications. I couldn’t be more excited about what this means to all of our current and future customers.
The same dedication that was necessary to get Happeo to where it is now, will be amplified ten fold with our increased resources. We will continue Happeo’s evolution and in doing so, change the industry as we know it. Work can be a happier place – whether you’re at a board table or the home-office table. And the way we see it: our journey has only just begun. Stay tuned as we look forward to bringing you more in the near future!