Owning one brick-and-mortar business seems complicated enough. But running multiple locations? For many owners, that’s a constant juggling act of phone calls, check lists and driving back and forth from store to store. In the middle of a pandemic, it gets all the more complex.
Delightree, a company out of the previous Alchemist Accelerator class, has raised $3 million to build a tool hyper-focused on helping owners of franchise businesses (think hotels, gyms, restaurant chains, etc.) take their operations and workflows digital.
A big part of the idea with Delightree is to move much of what currently happens through pen-and-paper checklists over to smartphones, allowing franchise owners to know what’s going at their locations from afar. They digitize workflows like the daily store opening/closing procedures or maintenance routines, with employees checking boxes on their devices rather than a paper to-do list. If something gets missed along the way, Delightree can automatically ping the owner to let them know before it becomes an issue.
They’ll also help to automate and track things like onboarding new employees and staying prepared for inspections, while giving owners a centralized place to make team-wide announcements or contact employees.
Delightree evolved out of a previous company built by its co-founders, Madhulika Mukherjee and Tushar Mishra. They’d been working on Survaider, a tool that monitored customer feedback across social media, review sites, etc., and turned that feedback into actionable to-do lists.
“When we were piloting it, our customers started saying: ‘can we create our own tasks? Or can I tell something to my employees through this?’ ” Mishra told me. “It was just such an obvious problem, so we started building Delightree.”
The team has also been working on a feature they call Delightcomply, which helps stores stay up to date on the latest CDC guidelines for businesses operating through the pandemic, and to automatically share compliance details with potential customers. A business could use Delightcomply to publicly outline the steps it’s taking to keep employees/customers safe, for example, with the listing automatically updated to show the status of each task.
Delightree is currently working directly with each new customer to help them through the initial setup — specifically, to help franchisees take the standard operating procedures they receive directly from the brand owners and turn them into Delightree workflows. They’re still working out their exact pricing model, but say that they charge on a per-location-per-month basis, with pricing varying depending on the size/complexity of the business. They’ve set up a waitlist for anyone interested.
This $3 million seed round was funded by Accel Partners, Emergent Ventures, Brainstorm Ventures, Axilor Ventures and Alchemist. As part of the deal, Emergent partner Anupam Rastogi has joined Delightree’s board of directors.