Canada-based Poka announced a USD $4.37 million investment from SE Ventures, the corporate VC fund of Schneider Electric. This is an interesting deal. Very little of what we normally see as HR technology is built to engage employees/users on the manufacturing shop floor. Much of what we’ve seen in HR tech has been built for two primary employee populations: knowledge workers that engage from a desk or laptop and “non-desk workers” that are not on the manufacturing shop floor. Poka promises to bring knowledge management (learning, micro-lessons, and “tips”), skills management, communication, and issues management to the manufacturing shop floor. This sounds like HR becoming the business of getting work done.
Also interesting is the new investor. Schneider Electric is a logo I see in HR tech pitch decks. Case studies including Schneider usually represent a transformation in HR and HR tech. They also represent scale with a large global employee base and complex supply chain. I lean in when I see a Schneider Electric case study, and I’m doing the same on this funding announcement. Keep an eye on Poka.