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Israeli startup takes the pain out of workplace training

Tel Aviv-based Bites helps Amazon, Unilever, HP and others connect better with their own employees

Pages from Bites (courtesy Bites)
Pages from Bites (courtesy Bites)

When Unilever wanted to roll out a program to its 2,000 Israeli employees to train them in anti-harassment, workplace equality, anti-bribery and anti-theft, the company decided it must do better than send them a written presentation and expect them to read and absorb it.

Instead, Unilever turned to Bites, an Israeli startup that takes dry corporate training materials and turns them into “Bites” – short, engaging quizzes and videos – sent to each employee through WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS or the messaging channel chosen by the individual.

The results were impressive. Unilever managers were able to automatically track the progress of the material with each employee. Within days, 96 percent had completed the brief course and the accompanying quiz.

“It was really easy for me to create and share the content with my team,” said one of the Unilever supervisors.

The company saw similarly positive results during the Covid pandemic, when it replaced hours-long onsite training sessions with Bites materials viewed remotely.

“The results were amazing,” said Klara Esers, then HR Coordinator for Unilever Israel.

Bites has worked with Amazon, HP, the English Football Association and other major corporations, as well as hundreds of smaller businesses around the world.

“As one of our customers says, it’s as if TikTok and a corporate learning management system had a baby,” says Eran Heffetz, the Co-founder and CEO of Bites, who is a former Israel Air Force F-16 fighter pilot. “We combined the best methods from social media and instant messaging, and we pulled everything into corporate training, designed especially for frontline employees. We now have 200,000 users around the world that rely on Bites for their training and communication.”

The company is set for a major expansion and is raising a funding round via OurCrowd, the private equity investment platform based in Jerusalem. Bites received backing from OurCrowd’s Israel Resilience Fund as many of the company’s personnel were called up to fight in the Iron Swords War.More info on the Bites investment round

“I saw the pain first hand when I owned bars and restaurants,” Heffetz says. “I managed over 1,000 frontline employees, but I could not get to them. I could not deliver the content and the training like I wanted to. Pretty fast I understood that the training methods used in the Air Force are not suitable for frontline employees. They will not sit behind a laptop and absorb hours and hours of training. It needs to be adjusted to this Gen Z and Millennial generation.”

Bites packages in-house training and employee onboarding materials into simple, accessible content that is more effective than frontal lectures or PowerPoint presentations. Heffetz says his customers quickly see the benefits – and the cost savings.

“After one company saw the value of Bites, they created an entirely new employee onboarding plan, reducing its frontal, instructor-led training by 30%,” he says. “Simply by digitizing the content, making it Bite-sized, making it engaging and effective for their employees, they have managed to reduce the amount of training shifts required and achieve an immediate return on their investment in our service.”

Bites meshes seamlessly with existing HR and messaging platforms, so employees don’t have to do anything to receive and interact with the material. A proprietary content creation platform for managers takes a simple video from a phone and applies AI to transform the output into a professional piece of content by creating instant cover images, titles, subtitles, noise reduction and translation, adding questions, quizzes and summary cards.

“There are about 50 processes running in the background, so that the content creator has no need to do anything at all. In under 20 seconds, everything is ready,” Heffetz says.

Recently, Bites launched a partnership with UKG, one of the largest HR platforms in the US, and another with 7shifts, which provides employee scheduling software for restaurants.

Bites provides “a robust and approachable training experience that’s easily consumable by employees while being highly customizable and flexible for operators,” says Dave Ganton, VP of Partnerships for 7shifts.

The platform is free for small users. Some larger companies use it to reach not only their own staff, but their employees’ families as well. Some customers are using it in ways the founders never expected.

“In one case in Los Angeles, it was used by a mentor for ex-convicts to help them reintegrate into society, using micro-learning Bites on everyday skills and other useful tips,” Heffetz says. “We never imagined it would be used like that.”

For more information about the Bites investment round on the OurCrowd platform, click HERE:

More info on the Bites investment round

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