Sydney startup WooBoard acquired by Reffind in AU$1.25m deal

Mobile employee experience platform, Reffind has scooped up four-year-old startup WooBoard in a AU$1.25 million share-based deal.

Employee recognition startup WooBoard has been acquired by Australian smartphone employee experience platform Reffind in a AU$1.25 million share deal.

Australian-listed Reffind said consideration for the acquisition is entirely in Reffind scrip, a move it said conserves cash for further expansion plans. As part of the deal, WooBoard will be rebranded as Embrace, which joins Reffind's existing Employ, Engage, and Educate products.

The company said the acquisition consists of two components: AU$1.25 million of Reffind scrip issued six months following the completion of the acquisition; and an earn-out of between 900,000 and 2.9 million Reffind shares assessed on a sliding scale one-year from completion, and is dependent on WooBoard achieving set revenue milestones.

"The social and gamified nature of WooBoard is expected to intensify the use of the entire Reffind platform," the company said.

Sydney-based WooBoard currently has 46 clients using its platform in Asia Pacific, the US, and in Europe; and Reffind said the acquisition offers immediate entry into the US market, where more than 10 of the startup's clients are based, including insurance provider MetLife and Ultra Mobile.

"We've been familiar with the WooBoard business for some time and it complements our existing products perfectly, and further positions Reffind as a leader in providing great employee experiences," Jamie Pride co-founder and managing director of Reffind said.

Reffind told shareholders on Thursday it will develop WooBoard into a fully mobile technology product that will operate within the Reffind app.

The original idea behind WooBoard was to make it easy to reward employees who have done a good job, co-founder and CEO Daniel Noble told ZDNet a few years ago. He said managers or colleagues can give a "woo" quickly and easily, with the intention to make the recipient more happy about their work, making them more engaged, and, therefore, more productive.

WooBoard had been previously funded by venture capital, with Pollenizer, Elevation Capital, and Southern Cross Venture Partners making up the current shareholders in the startup.

As a result of the acquisition, Pollenizer co-founder and WooBoard chairman Mick Liubinskas will join Reffind as a non-executive director.

With over 10 years of experience, Liubinskas has previously worked with Telstra to help mentor Australian startups through muru-D, the telco giant's accelerator program.

Reffind expanded its Asia presence in August, signing an agreement with recruitment company Ranstad, which will use Reffind's Employ platform to target 400,000 IT professionals. At the time, Pride said the partnership showed the company's potential in markets outside of Australia.

"We will continue to pursue such partnerships aggressively and help these clients embrace changes in technology and a new age of engaging and communicating with prospective recruits," Pride said.

Earlier this month, Reffind signed four multinational clients: Dutch global electronic markets trader, Optiver; an unnamed printing and imaging company; an unnamed law firm which apparently practises in 14 countries, and pulls in annual revenues of over $1 billion; and a British fashion retailer with a presence in 40 countries across 500 plus stores.

Reffind also signed three unnamed ASX-listed clients, which it said included a leading media firm, a household healthcare services provider, and a financial services business which has over 100,000 customers and AU$1.8 billion in assets.

The company's portfolio also includes the likes of Coca-Cola Amatil, Fuji Xerox, banking giant AMP, and food and beverage conglomerate, Lion.

For the 2014/2015 financial year ending June 30, Reffind recorded a net profit of AU$509,614 and AU$20,941 in revenue, based on four months of sales. The company's profit was attributed to the forgiving of a AU$1.2 million loan by major shareholder Digital4ge. Reffind entered the ASX after an AU$8 million initial public offering, and was officially admitted on July 8, 2015.