&Wider

Data-generating startup focused on illuminating working conditions along global supply chains for big brands and large-scale suppliers, using scalable mobile technology and data science expertise. &Wider has 6 years of traction, over 50 paying clients, and is active in over 30 geographies.

Overview

&Wider offers global brands, suppliers and intermediaries a clear up-to-date picture of working conditions so they can act promptly and encourage improvements where needed. Using their automated (IVR) calls, data analytics, and smart dashboards, &Wider generates and communicates direct insights into working conditions and worker wellbeing. &Wider helps clients spot priorities and measure progress. &Wider currently has 52 paying clients, active in 33 geographies.

&Wider is seeking EUR 180k in convertibles. This will be spent on expanding sales function and enhancing tech to meet the demands of scaling.

Business & market opportunity

There are 40.3 million modern slaves (Global Slavery Index, 2018). Alongside legal and reputational risks, brands are increasingly facing regulatory risk around conditions in their supply chain.

Current tools in supply chain transparency include social audits, supplier ratings and certification systems. These create an unreliable and sometimes fragmented picture of working conditions, usually involving infrequent, pre-announced visits by inspectors, and only using face to face worker interviews.

&Wider offers anonymous insights from the whole workforce in a scalable cost effective manner that integrates seamlessly with all existing systems to provide a dynamic monitoring solution. This solution has demonstrated its potential to disrupt an industry that has relied on snapshot assessments using unscalable methods and in-person inspections known for their falsification risks.

Since the outbreak of COVID19, the company has more than doubled its client base, because the pandemic has rendered the other tools for assessing ethical risk unuseable. The company is currently focusing on retaining and scaling the most scalable of these clients.

Products & Services

&Wider’s current solution is ENGAGE which collects anonymous feedback directly from workers on their working conditions and wellbeing at regular intervals, via mobile phone. Workers are called in their chosen language and given 20 simple questions, answered through the keypad on their phone (1 for yes, 2 for no, and 3 for don’t know). All calls are untraceable and anonymous. The results are displayed on a dashboard for clients in a simple traffic light rating and algorithm, so they can see where working conditions need to improve and where improvements have been made. ENGAGE also importantly measures impact on improved working conditions and wellbeing.

&Wider’s growing data set, which is gathered from their direct worker reporting, is its most valuable asset. This will feed its benchmark product (soft launch scheduled for Q1 2021), where clients will be able to access average performance scores and risks across a range of geographies and sectors. Analytics or mini-benchmarks are already in use for large partners and clients.

 

Impact

&Wider’s impact is central to the company’s mission which is to improve working conditions for workers to drive measurable improvement in their lives. They do this by alerting clients to poor working conditions in their global supply chains. Their service gives a voice to the most vulnerable workers and helps buyers, intermediaries, suppliers and social auditors support and drive measurable improvements in working conditions for workers. &Wider measures their impact on metrics, such as number of workers engaged and calls made, average improvement in site score, and data usage (have suppliers, buyers and auditors accessed the results and used these effectively?).

Management Team

  • Lea Esterhuizen

    Founder and CEO

    23+ years as a social research methodologist, specialising in gathering sensitive-type data from scared populations. Designed systems to gather data on human rights issues including genocide, forced migration and violence affecting children, before shifting her focus to systems to monitor working conditions and flag modern slavery in 2012. Leads all sales and R&D in the business.

  • Meike van Vlerken

    Operations Lead

    Degree in Economics and Business with a focus on Behavioural Economics, ensuring an understanding both of business strategy and of data science. Experience running operations for an impact investment firm.

  • Emily Vining

    Client Scaling Lead

    Responsible for profiling, supporting and enabling scaling of all scalable clients.

  • Kerri von Geusau

    Implementation Lead

    10 years experience as an engagement expert (community engagement) across a range of challenging sectors. Emily onboards and supports all suppliers whose workforces are monitored.

  • Kudakwashe Kandemiiri

    Lead Technologist

    Degree in Information Systems and Business Management and 8 years experience in Business Analysis (software) and Agile Software Development

  • Sesihle Manzini

    Marketing, Comms and Social Media

    Degree in Psychology, qualified in animation, storytelling through film and design software.

Contact

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Key Facts

Impact Sector Responsible consumption & materials
Investment Sought €350,000
Soft-circled €170,000
Indicated Pre-Money Valuation €3,000,000
Target Close Date 01/02/2021
Form of Investment Convertibles
Potential EIS/SEIS Eligibility Not eligible