Event start-up hit by COVID launches new social platform for remote teams

25 June 2020 | Client news

Event start-up hit by COVID launches new social platform for remote teams

A tech firm who turned to Harper James for help with a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) says the support ensured their business could survive. 

Founder Dan Strang had to react quickly when Covid-19 struck, as it had a devastating impact on his event technology business. 

In order to generate revenue, he decided to create a new company – HomeWerk – in a move that would allow him to benefit from SEIS relief. He teamed up with four of his entrepreneurial employees who agreed to invest in the venture which creates a social hub for teams that work remotely. 

Harper James put an agreement in place that allowed the founders to all have an equal share in the business.

Commenting on the situation the firm found themselves in late March, Dan says: ‘We knew there was a risk we had no revenue for the next six to eighteen months so even with the significant government support we needed to restructure to survive. One of our strategies was to spin off new businesses with some of our entrepreneurial employees. A team of five of us immediately started to build a solution to the problem we had already faced of remote workers being disengaged. 

‘We went to Harper James to help set up the company in a way that all five founders could have equal stakes, but which provided flexibility if the company or their career changed paths. As we were starting this in a pandemic there was a huge amount of uncertainty, so we needed a structure that allowed for that. We wanted to act quickly and get an SEIS investment within a few weeks. It ended up being a fairly complicated set of agreements, but our lawyer responded rapidly to get them done, allowing us to build and launch our new product within two months.’

Callum Giliker, corporate associate at Harper James, worked closely with HomeWerk at all stages. He said: ‘New articles needed to be prepared as well as an investment agreement in order to clearly delineate the rights and responsibilities of each founder. We also had to secure the continued development of the product within those agreed rights and responsibilities and the founders’ investment. It is envisaged the company will continue to build its product and seek further investment in the future. We wish them every success.’

HomeWerk’s mission is to help employees make friends, while working from home. Dan added: ‘We are creating a social club for remote teams. Our online platform automatically schedules team building activities for employees; from quizzes to team video sessions to photo competitions.’

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