If you haven't heard anything, VCs have recently loved workplace software, and productivity tools that help teams collaborate seem like a particularly foamy area of investment. A few top VC companies and angels, including General Catalyst, Bloomberg Beta, Biz Stone and Ellen Pao from First Round Capital put their trust in a new productivity startup called Range.
The tool focuses on helping small teams collaborate, grow closer, and pursue their work together. There are a number of startups with exactly this pitch. The main advantage of Range seems to lie with its founding team, led by Dan Pupius, Medium's former technical director, Jennifer Dennard (People Ops at Medium) and Braden Kowitz, a design partner at GV. The company used its network to build an early customer network, including teams on Twitter, Carta, and Mozilla, as well as a network of VCs that fund their efforts.
The SF-based team tells me that it has blocked $ 6 million in seed capital led by General Catalyst to expand its customer base. I talked to the very nice team of co-founders about a zoom call and could see how they were using the product internally.
"I left Google to join Medium [Ev Williams and Biz Stone]We experimented with a number of different organizational practices and really tried to answer the question of why companies deteriorate with size and whether we can apply different management practices to Medium to avoid this problem, ”Pupius told TechCrunch. “During this trip, we started to develop internal tools, and we saw this opportunity for software to intentionally encode many organizational processes or values. Towards the end of my tenure at Medium, I got back in touch with Braden and Jen and we basically decided to tackle the problem together. "
The essence of the product is a bit of a stand-up replacement, prompting every user to write down what they're working on each morning, what they can highlight with existing larger projects, and what then connects everyone and for members of the specific range- Team. The need for such a product really underscores one of Slack's big limitations, where even with threads there is no good way to organize the communication in a digestible way. Each update in Slack leads to a conversation that puts important information in the story further into the background, which can particularly harm remote teams.
In addition to checking in, Range also helps teams keep an eye on their goals and meetings, as well as team directories. The product provides integration support for Google Docs, Google Calendar, Slack, Asana, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Quip, Figma and others to ensure that information is not further isolated by adding new productivity software to the mix. The product has a startup-friendly price structure. It's free for teams under the age of 10, and each additional member costs $ 14 a month. Pricing is obviously becoming a little more individual when it comes to larger customers.
Range will likely make some comparisons with Notion from an organizational perspective, although it also feels a lot smoother because it's less open. One of the more unique aspects of the product is that the top of the home screen is not geared towards OKRs or analytics, but instead asks the team members a new question each day to encourage further engagement and prompts them to describe how they feel me with an emoji. It's kind of silly, but the team hopes that short bursts of introspection can subtly bring teams closer together, which collaboration software doesn't usually allow.
"We found that people do really cool things but don't talk to each other about it," Dennard told TechCrunch. "One of the advantages we have as a company is that we can actually help create this community for people."