It pays to give employees the freedom to innovate and experiment with new ideas. Last year, a group of employees at Bluebridge — a fast-growing mobile apps software company in Fishers, Ind. — came up with an idea for an internal employee relations app. Today, Bluebridge CEO and Founder Santiago Jaramillo is announcing the launch of a whole new company with a new platform backed by $3 million in venture funding.

The new company, Emplify, offers a platform dedicated to measuring and driving employee engagement using mobile devices, which Jaramillo says is critical since up to seven out of 10 employees are disengaged (Gallup).

Santiago Jaramillo

Santiago JaramilloCEO and Founder

“A year ago, the Bluebridge team set out to improve our own employee engagement initiatives. Understanding the role that smartphones play in daily content consumption and communication, we felt there was no better way to accomplish this than by leveraging our mobile devices,” Jaramillo said.

“What started as an internal idea for a Bluebridge-branded employee engagement app quickly evolved into our most successful product line ever.”

Early successes applying Bluebridge’s years of apps business success to the employee engagement market led to the acquisition in February of Cadence Consulting, a human resources and employee management consulting firm. In addition to adding strategist Todd Richardson (former EVP at ExactTarget), to the leadership team as Bluebridge’s Chief People Officer, the company gained a nationwide network of partners and contractual reseller relationships with former Cadence Consulting customers — a built-in distribution channel for its new employee engagement platform.

Now rolling out under the Emplify brand, the platform provides companies with a better way to engage with their employees through an internal employee app that acts as a central portal of information and engagement. The two companies — Bluebridge and Emplify — currently share some management personnel, but separate product development, engineering and sales teams will grow with the different brands. Bluebridge will continue to address the church and tourism mobile apps/mobile engagement markets.

A screenshot from the newly launched Emplify employee engagement platform website.

More than 25 early adopter customers of Emplify include well-known Greater Indianapolis area brands like FirstPerson, R.T. Moore, T2 Systems, Mainstreet, and MedXcel; and out-of-state brands like Molly Maid, Which Wich, and The NFL Trust.

Emplify customers are achieving 90 percent adoption with their self-branded employee engagement apps and their app push notifications also boast a 90 percent open rate. Compared to traditional employee communications channels like email, newsletters, memos or meetings, the Emplify platform is proving to be highly effective.

“Some customers have stopped sending out CEO emails to their employees and they are only sending important information like that through their branded company app powered by Emplify,” Jaramillo said. “It’s amazing to watch and know that the company is gaining tremendous traction through delivering results like that.”

Emplify’s venture funding comes from a $3 million Series A round led by Allos Ventures and Cultivation Capital, with participation from Bob Davoli (a five-time Forbes’ Midas list top ranking venture capitalist) and with returning investors Bill Godfrey (first-ever Investor of the Year Mira Award winner), Tim Kopp, and Mark Hill.

More from the launch announcement press release:

With its new funding, Emplify will continue to invest in its product, sales and marketing expansion, enabling customer success and expanding its proprietary research in employee engagement. Already in 2016, Bluebridge has added 20 new hires and plans to accelerate its pace in the next year to resource the Emplify growth.

Emplify leverages Bluebridge’s proven product infrastructure and mobile engagement expertise to bring a mobile-first approach to solve key problems around employee engagement at mid-sized and large organizations. The product’s initial customer growth and traction, combined with a secure platform that has already supported over 15 million mobile sessions and more than 6 million push notifications, position Emplify as a frontrunner in the employee engagement industry.

“We’ve always been passionate about engaging employees through open communication, but cutting through the clutter of email and other systems is often cumbersome, making it difficult for employees to fully engage,” said Bryan Brenner, CEO of FirstPerson, one of Emplify’s 25 initial customers. “Using the Emplify mobile employee engagement product makes that possible, and it’s working, evidenced by our 86% average push message open rate. Now, our employees can stay engaged whenever and wherever they are on the device they always have with them.”

Emplify brings data-driven insights to company culture leaders by measuring and driving employee engagement. The platform creates a central portal for engagement by giving employees access to interactive staff directories and portals to key information like health benefits. Customers will have instant access to quick polling and pulse survey features to discover employee feedback and sentiment, as well as segmented push notification messaging to target workplace communication to unique groups or individuals. In coming weeks, Emplify will launch its App Engagement Scoring feature, designed to leverage real-time analytics that give business leaders instant feedback on what is working or not working in their mobile employee engagement efforts.

To learn more about working with or for Emplify, register for their launch event, co-hosted with Verge on July 26.