Opus, a mobile-first learning platform for frontline workers, announced the completion of a $2 million funding round. The investment is led by Gutter Capital, joined by Metrodora Ventures, with participation from existing investors.
This was the first core investment for Gutter Capital, led by Co-Founder & Managing Partner Dan Teran. Metrodora Ventures was founded in 2020 by Chelsea Clinton. The round will help Opus continue to accelerate growth through expanded product and sales teams.
In October 2020, Opus launched to provide mobile-first training to businesses with a large distributed deskless workforce — the 110 million American workers who are working in frontline jobs in restaurants, ghost kitchens, universities, facilities companies, retail, construction, and sports. The company was founded by CEO Rachael Nemeth and VP Engineering Jeffrey Silver.
Nemeth spent her early career in food manufacturing and the service industry, having most recently worked for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. With a certification in Second Language Acquisition, she has five years of experience teaching English in kitchens. Prior to Opus, Silver was an Engineering Manager at Managed by Q. Before that, he co-founded “Into,” a social networking app.
The company has grown to reach businesses in verticals spanning from manufacturing facilities to restaurant chains. In December 2021, Opus released their collaborative course authoring tool, as well as their iOS and Android app.
Currently, there are 1,200 Learning Management Systems (or “LMS”) on the market — but they are all inaccessible to deskless workers due to being web-based, monolingual, and requiring hours of time to complete courses. This combination leads to poor adoption and engagement when employers use these legacy systems to train frontline teams. Since the release of the Opus mobile app, 92% of customers’ frontline employees have adopted the technology. On average, it takes 60 seconds for an employee to convert from app download to starting their first lesson. And, Opus customers see user engagement that is consistently 85% and higher.
A key difference between Opus and traditional learning systems is that it reflects the reality of frontline work. Some skills employees can learn digitally, and some must be trained in a practical hands-on environment. Their proprietary platform allows employers to create, translate, and deliver custom microtraining that they can deliver in less than 10 minutes. Employees receive the training on their phones and complete it in three minutes. At the same time, managers can verify practical, on-the-job skills such as answering phones or forklift operation via their skill verification feature.
The labor shortage is disproportionately affecting the businesses who employ a frontline workforce, which is 70% of American workers. Employing a functioning workforce is critical to maintaining a robust supply chain, and is vital to rapid economic recovery. However, the industries that employ frontline workers have some of the highest “no show” and turnover rates. For example, the food service industry sees an annual turnover rate of 110%. That number increased during the pandemic, making employee retention and productivity a critical issue that businesses are facing.
“I’ve known Rachael, Jeff, and Vince for many years and am thrilled to make Opus the first core investment at Gutter Capital. Opus has a special team, combining mission, domain expertise, and product excellence and we are excited to support them in this next chapter as they reach millions of deskless workers with the tools they need to thrive,” said Dan Teran, cofounder and managing partner at Gutter Capital.
“It was an easy decision to invest in Rachael and the team at Opus,” said Chelsea Clinton of Metrodora Ventures. “We’re inspired by Rachael’s commitment to close the software inequality gap for deskless workers, a large and growing part of our workforce.”
“We’re thrilled to deepen our partnership with Dan and the team at Gutter Capital and welcome Metrodora to the table — both are vision and values aligned investors. We exist in the future of work and it must be frontline-first. Opus is about access to good technology and good jobs. When employers have an easy, elegant way to train and engage their deskless workforce, those employees tend to stay and grow in their jobs,” said founder and CEO Rachael Nemeth.
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