As we continue to find ourselves amidst a global crisis of unimaginable impact and uncertain length, Insight has been driven by our company core values to support our employees and their families, alongside our communities. Since we are located in New York City – the current epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic – the impact of the crisis is all around us.
We are inspired by the first responders, and all those who are putting themselves at great personal risk to care for others. Many of our employees have been directly affected by the virus, and we are all acutely aware of the hardship it is creating for our portfolio and local communities. We have tried, in our own way, to emulate their selflessness by applying our skills and resources to this urgent cause.
This blog is our way of saying thank you to everyone in the Insight family who has poured their hearts into these efforts.
Rapid response to protect our people
The first responsibility for us, and any company, is to care for the safety and well-being of our people. In early February, Insight implemented the health and safety recommendations of leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. Like others, we restricted all non-essential travel, postponed events, took preventative health measures in the office, and activated our business continuity plan.
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, we closed our office to protect employees and became a fully remote workforce. We were able to navigate this transition smoothly, and we published several blogs, including this piece on BCP, to share our know-how with others. At the moment, our dedicated BCP taskforce has weekly interactions with industry experts to assess the situation and support our team members as the challenges of COVID-19 continue to unfold. The health and safety of our people remains our number one priority.
Hands-on outreach to support portfolio companies navigate the crisis
At the same time, our Investment Team and Insight Onsite staff have focused on supporting portfolio companies. One of the reasons companies choose Insight as an investor is that we offer a wide range of expertise and best practices to their operations. We took this same approach to helping our portfolio company CEOs navigate the dynamic environment and implement appropriate actions. Among others, our advice covered communication strategies, scenario planning, working capital management, and HR processes to support remote and sick employees. Every week we produce additional thought leadership, and we’ve hosted more than 35 digital events to share knowledge. Our focus is to help leaders learn from their peers in the software ecosystem and provide them with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the crisis.
Promotion of Insight’s social responsibility arm, Insight Impact, to direct donations and time
“Heart” is one of Insight’s core values. In times of crisis, the true mettle of people shines through. We’re seeing tremendous heart across the firm. Our social responsibility arm, Insight Impact, was established in 2017 at the impetus of junior team members and has since sponsored charitable events and social initiatives. With COVID-19 threatening our community, Insight Impact immediately looked for opportunities to lean in and help.
The team built a data-driven framework for giving by researching reputable organizations addressing the crisis. We identified and highlighted more than 20 non-profits providing food, health services, medical research, personal protective equipment and community care. This helps everyone across the firm channel their resources and efforts. Insight employees have given time to support the elderly and underserved in their local communities, and have contributed financially. The majority of our team members have donated to Insight Impact’s list of organizations, as well as countless others.
Amplification of the philanthropic activities of portfolio companies
COVID-19 highlights the critical importance of software and technology in the global response to a pandemic. Software is at the center of data dissemination, security, clinical research, communication and staying in touch with one another.
The innovative ScaleUp software companies that we invest in have the capability to support many critical initiatives. To help with this, we have connected organizations in need of support with the services of our past and present portfolio, and continue to promote their efforts to our global ecosystem.
For example, a number of our portfolio companies are offering their technology and software to help small businesses, non-profits, and public-school districts navigate this new climate.
Monday.com – which provides the work OS platform, is offering free and complete use of their platform to any non-profit organization working to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
Diligent – a modern governance software provider, is offering free access to their solution, Community by Diligent, for K-12 public school districts and small non-profits to help hold remote meetings and ensure connectivity during this time.
Freshly – a subscription meal delivery service, has partnered with Nestle to donate $500,000 to Meals on Wheels America, which is focused on helping vulnerable senior citizens during this time.
Hootsuite – a social media management company, is offering free access to its Professional Plan until July 1, 2020, to help small businesses and nonprofits stay connected to their customers and audiences.
These examples are not limited to our current portfolio. We introduced a former portfolio company, Yext, a search experience company, to the New Jersey State government. Yext volunteered their services pro bono to build a COVID-19 Answers Hub, which brings together NJ State’s answers to questions about symptoms, essential job openings, testing centers, executive orders, CDC FAQs, and much more. Within four business days, Yext created a channel for the NJ Government to connect with its constituents. Yext is a former portfolio company and Insight Partners has no financial stake in it.
The activities of other portfolio companies that are helping in the crisis are described here. We are part of an inspiring and talented community.
Support of on-the-ground volunteers in Washington, DC to help in the nation’s battle against COVID-19
In March, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Insight was asked by a member of the COVID-19 Response Task Force to support the sourcing of materials for healthcare professionals, first responders and essential workers. Eight young employees stepped up and volunteered to use their sourcing expertise, under the direction of Federal employees, to find critical supplies that could save American lives.
The volunteers committed to traveling to Washington DC and working long hours in service to their country. We are proud of our team members – for a few weeks they left their homes and applied their tenacious sourcing skillset to fight COVID-19. They went above-and-beyond and embody Insight’s value of “heart.”
We are all in this together; now is the time for action
At the time of writing, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives to coronavirus in the United States alone, with many times that number globally. The toll of this pandemic has touched nearly every corner of the planet, causing job loss and economic dislocation at a staggering scale. We believe that ingenuity and the human spirit will catalyze a strong recovery once the crisis subsides; yet we realize that many will continue to suffer until that time. The biggest mistake any company could make – from a business and moral perspective – would be to retrench and wait for the bad times to pass. This is not a time to be passive or political; it’s a time to move forward. To help, not stand on the sidelines.
We’ll get through this together.
Insight continues to work with its employees, portfolio executives and community to fight the impact of COVID-19. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us and get involved.