The Story Behind My Investment in Porpoise



After two years of advising, I’m delighted to finally be investing in Porpoise, which I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Strengthening social connections a strategic priority in organizations

Last May, Cigna Study Research put a spotlight on the impact of loneliness and revealed loneliness at epidemic levels in America. We’re seeing a lack of human connection, which ultimately leads to a lack of vitality. The findings reinforce the social nature of humans and the importance of having communities. Researchers for Gallup found that having strong social connections at work makes employees more likely to be engaged with their jobs and produce higher-quality work, and less likely to fall sick or be injured.

Former Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy recently wrote an article for Harvard Business Review titled, "Work and the Loneliness Epidemic." In it, he explains that loneliness can impact an employee's well-being and their work performance. He calls on organizations to make social connections a strategic priority.

Bottom line, burnout at work isn’t just about exhaustion. It’s also about loneliness. Employees should have genuine opportunities to foster friendships. Removing "coldness" from a workplace culture is the right thing to do, and it's a smart business decision. It turns out that reducing isolation at work is good for business and Porpoise’s product helps forge connections at work.

Employee Engagement Through Social Impact

Evidence from surveys, management consulting, journalistic and corporate sources show that CSR is an emerging and important driver of employee engagement. These sources identify CSR’s influence on employee attraction, retention, and satisfaction. Porpoise provides a turnkey solution for organizations to excel in this area. Their unique engagement-first approach to CSR transforms the way employees and companies support the causes they care about.

"Only 31% of businesses engage employees on the company’s CSR objectives and initiatives1". It is true, and most businesses don’t use their CSR strategy development and implementation to rally the company and its employees. Why not? It’s a unique opportunity to engage, measure and make data-driven decisions! The Porpoise app involves employees and gets their giving stories to resonate profiling the "softer side" of businesses. Businesses with real conscience that do things in innovative ways. Because giving back is also good for PR.

I've worked with companies implementing CSR. One thing I’ve learned is that setting out to design and put in place a program can be a daunting undertaking. Porpoise simplifies that workflow through the most engaging CSR platform on the market.

Porpoise is the kind of lever that could someday massively increase the number of companies integrating the imperatives of their economic, social, and environmental activities. There’s not only an opportunity for Porpoise to be a huge company, but also to help organizations discover the causes their employees care about and optimize programs to reflect internal values and culture.

Finally, Porpoise has an incredible team that, as far as I can tell as an outsider, really believes in the mission and loves the work environment.

These are all the ingredients that go into the development of an incredibly impactful and valuable company. I’m very happy to be along for the ride.

If you’re an investor and want to inquire on Porpose’s upcoming fundraising then shoot me an email at paul@reflektions.com


Paul Ortchanian is a problem-solver by nature. He helps rapidly scaling early-stage startups craft their Business models, Revenue Streams, Product Strategy, User Experience and Data Science approaches. He also helps middle market and scrappy companies generate new product strategies for significant, sustainable growth. Paul focus on marketplaces, AI/ML, AdTech, emerging tech and companies addressing complex social challenges.

By founding Bain Public, running product for a disruptive Bay Area startup or leading Operations and Engineering for a global organization, he acquired the breadth of experience to find the common denominators to make businesses successful.

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1 Survey conducted by IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value