First Investment from 412 Angels Network Connecting Tulsa, NWA Investors to Regional Tech Startups
BENTONVILLE, AR -- July 12, 2022 -- PushKin, a software platform that helps operators communicate with frontline employees, today announced a pre-seed round raise of $740,000 led by Tulsa-based investment firm, Atento Capital. The round included participation from investors across the region, including the Validation Fund at Winrock International and the 412 Angels Network, a new initiative aimed at educating new investors and supporting early-stage start-ups in the corridor connecting Tulsa and Northwest Arkansas.
PushKin’s pre-seed round marked the first investment from 412 Angels since the network launched last month. The network helped seven first-time investors, many with rich backgrounds in the restaurant space, participate in the round.
PushKin, which already serves teams at national brands such as Chick-Fil-A and Hyatt, was founded to bring pride back to skilled trades, which make up 80% of the global workforce, but suffer from more than 100% turnover every year. The platform efficiently aligns all team members from back-office to front, corporate to multi-location managers and their front-line teams, and provides real-time data to analyze engagement and boost trust and retention.
“PushKin was developed to ensure frontline employees know how important they are to the success of their business,” said Amanda Earhart, CEO and co-founder of PushKin. “We’re thrilled to have the backing of Atento Capital, The Validation Fund at Winrock International, and 412 Angels to help our company scale into the latest example of tech success coming out of the Northwest Arkansas and Tulsa region.”
PushKin is targeting an 800+ billion dollar addressable market across the restaurant, hospitality, automotive, transportation, and healthcare industries.
“Rare is it in the heartland to come across such a unique founder as Amanda Earhart, with 20 years across Facebook and eBay, much of which in senior leadership within product and media functions,” said Michael Basch, Managing Partner of Atento Capital. “ Coupled with the incredibly innovative, thoughtful, and scrappy team at the Cartwheel Startup Studio, we felt PushKin has an unfair right to win in their space.”
PushKin’s customers, which currently span the restaurant, hospitality, and trucking industries, report 70% increased trust, 10x more productivity, and 35% improved analytics from integrating the tool across their operations.
“PushKin is an innovative Arkansas startup, and we are proud to support their growth at this critical stage,” said Linsley Kinkade, senior director of U.S. programs at Winrock International. “By providing early-stage capital to promising companies like PushKin, the Validation Fund at Winrock International contributes to job creation and economic prosperity in Arkansas.”
PushKin was launched out of Cartwheel, a startup studio administered by Winrock International and funded by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation that creates B2B SaaS companies focused on essential workers, distributed teams, and Web 3.0 opportunities.
PushKin is a deskless employee connectivity platform for franchise operators who struggle to keep their distributed workforce informed, engaged, and in sync every day.
About Atento Capital
Atento Capital is an investment firm driving opportunity in Tulsa through returns, quality job creation, and being helpful. By democratizing access to venture capital and creating pathways to upward mobility for traditionally underinvested groups of people. Atento has helped dozens of companies and entrepreneurs grow and thrive in the Tulsa and more recently, Northwest Arkansas tech ecosystem.
About the Validation Fund at Winrock International
The Validation Fund is an evergreen, not-for-profit fund dedicated to deploying early-stage awards to validation-stage Arkansas startup companies. The Validation Fund’s purpose is to aid in the creation of jobs and economic prosperity for Arkansas by providing needed early-stage capital to promising companies.