Accelerators / Business development / Funding / Startups / Workplace culture

Employee wellness company On the Goga is joining Techstars amid a pivot to future-of-work tech

After bootstrapping a very IRL business for five years, the team is fundraising a seed round for its digital tool, The Hub.

Anna Greenwald. (Courtesy photo)
On the Goga founder and CEO Anna Greenwald thinks about her business — and a lot else in life — like a yoga practice.

“Some days you get on your mat, and wonder, ‘Have I ever stretched in my life?'” she said. “And other days you bust out a crow pose. The point is showing up, looking for the needs and addressing them.”

It’s what she had to do with her corporate wellness business when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. What once was a very in-person business (think: leading meditation sessions during company retreats) had to pivot to digital in those early weeks of March 2020. Greenwald and her team have been building their online platform, The Hub, ever since.

Despite the cost-saving measures many companies were taking in 2020 that could have cut out corporate and employee wellness spending, On the Goga’s business actually grew exponentially, she told All of the experiences, workshops and resources the team used to bring to folks together IRL now lived on The Hub.

The platform allows HR teams to build out offerings around their internal wellness plans, customized to their team via a no-code tool. On the Goga helps teams build their suites, and also supplies content. Clients include the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross and Lyft, which pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of employees on the platform. Clients can add additional private workshops or challenges formulated for their team.

“We’ve made the transition from this on-site, service-based wellness company to a future-of-work tech company,” Greenwald said.

There’s been a “hugely renewed” value on employee experience and wellness amid the Great Resignation and tough labor markets, the CEO said. A lot of company leaders have been looking for the right tools to manage or curate offerings around how their employees interact with and feel about work. The Hub is setting out to be that versatile, customizable tool, Greenwald said.

Greenwald is also dipping her toe into the fundraising world for the first time in On the Goga’s lifespan, after bootstrapping for about seven years. The company was accepted into Techstars‘ upcoming virtual accelerator cohort, where will focus on bringing the tool to market, meeting the right connections, and making sure people know The Hub exists in its current form. She’s aiming to raise a seed round soon.

The founder said there’s also a key narrative shift the team of 20 full-timers and contractors is hoping to reflect.

“A lot of people in Philly knew us as a wellness services, but we’re a product now,” Greenwald said. “It’s become the delivery vehicle for wellness challenges, programming, and we’re bringing all of our customers onto the product.”

Greenwald, whose background is in marketing and yoga practice, didn’t see herself as a tech founder when she started the company years ago — “I was anti-wellness tech forever,” she said. “And I still believe a tech platform isn’t going to make your employees well.”

But she and everyone else in the world was forced to figure out employee wellness amid the shift to remote.

“We were building highly customized wellness ecosystems, so that’s what we built our wellness platform to be,” Greenwald said. “It’s not the silver bullet. It’s the tool HR teams have been looking for to build the program that will make the most sense for their team.”

Companies: Techstars

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