Bonusly, Interview with CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks

raphael_headshotBonusly, a Brooklyn-based provider of a platform that allows companies to reward and motivate employees, raised $1m in seed financing (read here). CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks answered our question about the company, the funding and future plans.

FinSMEs: Hi Raphael. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you? What’s your background?
Raphael: I’ve been working as a software engineer since the late 90’s, typically at very early-stage startups.

FinSMEs: Let’s speak about Bonusly. What’s the opportunity you found in the market?
Raphael: Economic, cultural, and technological forces are rapidly and radically reshaping the way we work, and what we, as employees, expect from our employers. Unfortunately, businesses have been slow to react to these trends, leading to historically high rates of disengagement among workers. Bonusly replaces antiquated employee recognition and engagement programs like employee-of-the-month and years-of-service awards with a peer-to-peer bonus program that delights and engages your employees.

FinSMEs: How does Bonusly work? Tell me something about the features…
Raphael: With Bonusly, employees recognize their colleagues with instant micro-bonuses to celebrate great work. This instant positive feedback increases motivation, productivity, and retention.

FinSMEs: Can you introduce the other team members?
Raphael: Our co-founder and CTO, John Quinn, is an awesome leader who’s led the tech teams at SquareTrade, Digg, and Gilt. We’ve just made our first hire, George, who’s dedicated to customer success and marketing.
FinSMEs: Where are you now in terms of growth? Some numbers? (revenue, employees, customers, users, etc.)
Raphael: We get paid by seat, so the most interesting number is the rate at which paid seats are growing: 20+% month-over-month. If you’re interested in specific customer stories, you can check out our case studies at

FinSMEs: You just raised funding. What can you tell me about the investors? How are you using the funds?
Raphael: FirstMark Capital and Bloomberg Beta are co-investors in this round, and they’re two of the best firms that an early-stage startup could work with. They’re big believers in what we’re doing, and are bring a ton of expertise and experience to the table.
FinSMEs:…future plans?
Raphael: Grow! In the United States alone, companies spend $20 billion/year on outdated and ineffective employee recognition programs. We’re out to change that.

FinSMEs: You are based in Brooklyn, NYC, a growing startup ecosystem. What can you tell me about it? Exciting?
Raphael: We love working in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of really innovative and exciting work being done here.



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