Making it Work

Capella looks to scale business across Ireland and beyond

The Irish firm plans to grow revenue to €10 million within five years, through helping clients transition back to the office or implement hybrid work strategies

Criona Turley, co-founder and chief executive of Capella: ‘We have our eyes on the US right now, and we’ve done a lot of research there.’ Picture: Jason Clarke

Capella, an Irish company set up to help businesses manage the pandemic-inspired shift to hybrid working, is targeting €10 million in annual revenues within five years, according to its chief executive.

“We see ourselves very much scaling across Ireland and outside Ireland,” Criona Turley told the Business Post. “We have our eyes on the US right now, and we’ve done a lot of research there.”

Founded in 2020, Capella is now in the final stages of closing a seed round which will enable it to add new staff members and grow out its operations. Turley declined to disclose the amount of investment the company was taking in, but said it would be adding new staff to its roster in the coming months.

Along with her co-founder, Victoria Yanakos, Turley founded Capella after realising that companies needed help executing a shift to remote or hybrid working. Until then she had worked for a company that helped design workplaces.

“People who had been my clients for years no longer needed their workplaces designed – they now needed to address the problems facing people working from home. They needed me to respond to an issue, which was how you make sure people working from home are productive, well set up and safe. And how you record it so you’re compliant with employment laws.”

Today, workplaces around the world are in a state of flux, attempting to plot paths back to the office or else implementing new hybrid work strategies. It’s a complicated process, and that’s where Capella comes in.

The Enterprise Ireland-backed company carries out automated risk assessments for staff working from home, checking they’re in safe environments and ensuring that employers are obeying the law.

“We use AI technology and sentiment analysis to do that risk assessment,” Turley said, explaining that employees were offered ergonomic training as part of the review and were required to fill out a survey.

“By law, you have to carry out a risk assessment for all of your employees working from home,” she said. “Some companies haven’t done it, some have done it by driving around, and some companies have an office manager doing it. We get the whole thing done in six days.”

As many companies are now trying to transition back to the office, Capella also offers a desk-booking service and allows clients to create events, like a summer barbecue, and invite staff through its system.

“We can generate a bit of excitement about coming back into the office, because that’s a big challenge for employers,” Turley said.

As well as its Irish operation, Capella is now operational in other countries – a key part of its plan to scale overseas.

“We’re dealing with global contracts now,” Turley said. “We have companies that would have a need for our services in 26 countries. We intend to scale, and we intend to scale relatively quickly.”