The Mom Project Acquires New York Startup Werk

Chicago startup The Mom Project just scooped up a New York upstart that helps companies change their workplace flexibility policies.

The Mom Project announced Friday it acquired Werk, a startup founded in 2016 that uses behavioral science to understand what type of flexibility employees need—from commute time to caregiving to wellness priorities—and provides recommendations to companies on the best policies to implement. Among Werk’s goals is helping moms return to the workforce, a similar ethos shared by The Mom Project.

The Mom Project, founded in 2016, has built an online platform that helps to connect viable female candidates to employers. The startup takes a special interest in matching women who have left work to start a family get back into the job market. The startup has worked with about 2,000 companies including Facebook, Nike, Etsy and Uber to place women into jobs. It has raised around $11 million to date, and recently announced that tennis superstar Serena Williams joined the company as a strategic advisor.

The acquisition will allow The Mom Project to bring Werk into its existing insights division, previously called MP Labs, and develop a newly formed initiative called WerkLabs. WerkLabs will help companies build a better workplace for all their employees, creating policies that focus on the entire workforce, not just women. Part of WekLabs’ goal will be helping companies better understand the “remote employee experience,” a particularly pressing issue given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Werk raised nearly $4 million in outside funding from investors including Rethink Impact and Halogen Ventures.

“The current environment is accelerating the urgency for companies to learn how to best support remote employees. Our customized Remote Experience Index models are uniquely positioned to help companies create work experiences that will improve employee engagement, loyalty and retention over the near and long-term,” Pamela Cohen, president of WerkLabs, said in a statement. “Our research shows that flexibility has a critical impact on workplace satisfaction and employee retention.”