Sonder raises AU$35m to accelerate growth

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Since launching Sonder in 2017 with two close friends, Christopher Marr and Peter Burnheim, our wellbeing and safety company has come a long way – thanks to the support of our dedicated team members and supporters, together with valued customers such as Woolworths Group, PwC, University of Sydney, Allianz, Hoyts, Toll Group, Probe, NRMA, and the NSW Government.

We are proud to be providing 24/7 support to nearly half a million members across their safety, medical, and mental health needs, and in recent times we became the first technology company to be accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) and won the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Tech Company award for 2021.

The completion of our AU$35 million Series B round is another important milestone on our journey to unlock the Sonder wellbeing model for millions of people around the world. This capital and the expertise of our new investors will turbocharge our mission to reduce the complexity of the healthcare landscape, allowing organisations to support their people to take control of their safety and wellbeing journey.

Sonder co-founder and CEO, Craig Cowdrey

Series B investment

As per our AFR coverage, Blackbird Ventures led the oversubscribed round, with participation from new investors (including SEEK Investments and SecondQuarter Ventures), as well as existing investors. Alongside Blackbird’s investment, we now welcome Niki Scevak, Blackbird partner and co-founder, to Sonder’s Board.

We plan to use the additional capital to invest in product improvements across our safety, medical, and mental health platform, as well as continue to grow our client base across medium and large enterprises in Australia and New Zealand. We are also pursuing growth opportunities within SMB and international markets.

For members, our enhanced product features will continue to help drive engagement and earlier access to support. For customers, our enhanced reporting and data insights will continue to help inform relevant and meaningful business decisions.

What problem are we solving?

When we look at the community and employees, and the issues that they face, we know they are significant and they are broad.

Two million Australians are living with anxiety. One in seven with depression. Over 33 per cent of Australians are living with a level of financial stress that’s not going away anytime soon, unfortunately. One in three women over the age of 15 are facing violence at some point in their lifetime. Twenty per cent of employees are facing mental health stress in any given year.

And yet, rates of utilisation of traditional models of care are in the single digits.

We believe the current system of care is broken. There are too many barriers when employees seek support, especially when there are multiple issues at play. This is despite the fact that employees are increasingly expecting their employers to make wellbeing a workplace priority. Our research shows that 92 per cent of employees think it’s important for their next employer to offer wellbeing support.

Using our holistic model of care across safety, medical, and mental health, we are able to provide the right care at the right time, and achieve engagement rates over 10 times that of traditional models.

In doing so, we save managers time, by dealing with issues that they otherwise would have dealt with. We also help increase the rates of retention, decrease sick days, decrease presenteeism, and streamline existing processes and services available to an organisation’s people. Plus, we provide really rich, data-driven insights that enable better decision-making at board, executive, and manager level.

Our holistic solution is easy to navigate and always available, so that students, and employees and their families can receive immediate, easily-accessible, 24/7, safety, medical, and mental health care.

Header image: Sonder’s business unit leaders, 2022.

About Sonder

Sonder is a leading Australian wellbeing and safety company accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS). Our solution is a technology-driven platform supported by 24/7 safety, medical, and mental health experts. This is backed up by a physical responder network that can be onsite quickly for complex scenarios, plus a capability to deliver unique and timely data insights which drive meaningful business decisions.

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