Circle In receives funding support to accelerate our mission of making a better world for working parents.
We’re thrilled to announce that our parental engagement platform has closed a $1.5m seed investment led by Australian venture capital firm Our Innovation Fund, LP.
Co-founded by Kate Pollard and Jodi Geddes, Circle In is a market leading platform that supports all working parents, from those that are in the early stages of planning a baby right through to parents with teenage children. We are the first organisation to bring such a platform to market globally.
Our Innovation Fund partner, Laurence Schwartz, says that Circle In takes support for working parents to a new level, enhancing benefits for employees and their employers.
“From the moment we met Jodi and Kate, we knew we wanted to partner with them as they are incredibly passionate, focused and driven to enable real change for parents,” Mr Schwartz explains.
“Organisations are realising that the culture they set has direct benefits on attracting, engaging and retaining top talent. Circle In helps in these three key HR focuses.
“We’re very excited about the value that Circle In is bringing to their customers, community and working parents around the globe,” he adds.
Within 12 months, Circle In has generated exceptional market traction, expanding into global markets and partnering with leading brands, including Medibank, Programmed, Coca-Cola Amatil, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Ashurst.
Jodi says: “Our Innovation Fund shares our passion and vision for Circle In – we’re both committed to improving the lives of working parents.
“The funding and our partnership with Our Innovation Fund adds incredible strategic expertise and value to help us materially scale and support more working parents in Australia and internationally.”
Kate and Jodi, both working parents themselves, recognised the need for a platform to better support working parents, having experienced the problem firsthand while on parental leave.
Kate adds: “Jodi and I both embarked on our parental leave journey at similar times, walking out the door as confident senior managers and walking back through the same door anxious and lacking confidence, knowing more could be done.”
This led them to establish Circle In, which is a scalable technology solution enabling organisations to better assist their employees juggle parental leave and raising a family while working.
Circle In’s core product offering is a customised engagement platform for employers to provide to their community of working parents. The platform provides those working parents with tools and resources aligned to each stage of parenthood.
The effectiveness of the portal is its ability to individually support managers, service working parents in their teams, demonstrate real-life solutions and drive cultural change through storytelling and role modelling.
It also captures and reports data and analytics for employers to better understand employee engagement, confidence and advocacy levels across the organisation.
“We’ve created a one-stop shop for working parents and they are loving the employee real stories, access to policies, advice and our wellness hub,” says Kate, “and both employees, managers and senior executives are seeing the real business outcomes.”
A year into the journey, Circle In has seen direct results: 82% of parents using the product claiming it has made them feel more positive towards their organisation. Further, 73% would be more inclined to recommend their company as a result of the support shown towards working parents and 82% said the portal meets or exceeds expectations.
Jacob Bonk, L’Oreal’ HR Director, says: “Circle In has definitely helped with employee re-integration, engagement and retention following a period of leave. The research demonstrates the need for employers to do more to support their working mothers and fathers as it’s a great business move – enhancing reputation, attracting and retaining talent, improving productivity and mental health - as well as being the right thing to do.”
“It has been great to see our founding partners renew their contracts with Circle In for years to come, as they have seen real results over the past year,” says Jodi.