Performance Culture Rebrands as WorkDove, Settles Into The Triangle

Performance Culture has rebranded as WorkDove to reflect that while the Durham-based startup will continue its core business of employee performance management—exemplified above—it's also growing in the areas of talent and human capital management.

Performance and talent management platform WorkDove (formerly known as Performance Culture) announced its rebrand today. The name change comes as WorkDove experienced considerable growth—including moving its HQ from Wilmington to Durham—after receiving a $2.9 million investment from Durham’s Jurassic Capital in late 2020.

The reason WorkDove chose Jurassic as a partner was because of the expertise the Jurassic team had in running a culturally sustainable startup, CEO Melissa Phillippi said. Jurassic Partner Joe Colopy co-founded Durham-based Bronto Software and led it as CEO before its successful $200 million exit to Netsuite in 2015. When Phillippi and Colopy brainstormed what the future of Performance Culture looked like, it was clear the startup could refresh to more so represent the modern, diverse workplace.

[Editor’s Note: We previously profiled WorkDove/Performance Culture last February, and Colopy is also the GrepBeat Godfather.]

The new name symbolizes this refresh of WorkDove’s core platform and apps, which opens up new market niches with specific needs for a more modern performance management platform for today’s workplaces, according to Phillippi. 

Over the past two years, the workplace has radically changed due to the pandemic and its many ripple effects. Employees’ lives were changed forever alongside those of managers and company leaders. Some companies were completely ousted from the marketplace because of new economic realities, while the so-called Great Resignation transformed hiring practices and remote work expanded exponentially.

But if companies follow the best practices for performance management and coaching with WorkDove, Phillippi said, they can achieve greater workplace harmony. 

“You bring peace to the workplace because employees now still feel connected,” Phillippi said of the rebrand’s significance. “Even in a remote world, they still feel heard. They still understand their connection to the company and that what they do matters.”

The WorkDove product had already grown so much, Phillippi said, but the marketing side hadn’t kept pace with WorkDove’s growth beyond performance management and into talent and human capital management. This rebrand amends that.

WorkDove CEO and Co-Founder Melissa Phillippi

Phillippi sums up 2021 as a year of foundation building for WorkDove. They added several new Triangle-based employees alongside the existing Wilmington-based team members and built a strong organizational chart.

“That’s really what this rebrand is about: ‘Hey, we got the foundation strong. Now let’s build something awesome on top of it and tell the world about it,’” Phillippi said.

Since WorkDove serves the modern and diverse workplace, its client base is as diverse as it gets, Phillippi said. WorkDove predominantly serves manufacturers, technology and professional service industries. Being supported by fellow tech companies has been especially meaningful.

“That was super cool that all these technology companies were picking us because if anybody’s going be picky about your software, it’s going to be somebody else in tech,” Phillippi said. “So that was a huge vote of confidence for us.”

WorkDove also relocated its headquarters to Durham from Wilmington last summer. This move took them closer to their investors at Jurassic and provided them with better access to talent.

While Wilmington is a growing tech hub, Phillippi said it was harder to compete for talent there for two reasons. First, it’s a smaller pool than the Triangle, and startups have to compete against beach-based giants like nCino and Apiture.

“The startups in the Triangle are celebrated,” Phillippi said. “You’re encouraged. You’re supported a whole lot more here. It’s almost a badge of honor that you’ve got a startup.”

But WorkDove still represents its Wilmington history in its color schemes and in the teal on Phillippi’s own nails. (Phillippi added that for female CEOs, “you can still lead and have your nails on fleek.”) Both Phillippi and her co-founder Dallas Romanowski graduated from UNC Wilmington. 

“If it wasn’t for Wilmington and the Wilmington ecosystem, we wouldn’t be here,” Phillippi said. “It was beautiful that it spurred that growth, and we still want to honor that legacy. We do that with this rebrand to say, ‘Hey, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that.’ We’re just growing and because it set us up for success, we’re now really jumping off to even bigger things.”

As WorkDove sets its sights on the future, the startup hopes to reach key levels of recurring revenue and lean more into its talent management arm while improving its core offerings. Growing its sales team is key to that, but all growth needs to be sustainable, Phillippi said.

About Suzanne Blake 362 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.