With the workforce currently ubiquitous in the tech community, startups are trying to develop new tools that allow these teams to stay connected and communicate in ways that make it most convenient for employees.
One of these companies is Orlando, Florida-based startup Yac, which has just raised $ 1.5 million from a number of investors to reinvent voicemail for teams that start on slack and zoom calls went.
The digital, distributed workforce is a phenomenon that is on the rise, and the increasing number of remote workers shows no signs of slacking. In fact, new statistics suggest this 3% of Americans work from home Full time these days.
According to Yac co-founder Justin Mitchell, these remote workers can cut costs for both young and older companies, but they have certain disadvantages and can make communication and collaboration difficult.
He points to the communication and cultural problems at Away, which have contributed to the overthrow of the company's new managing director.
Yac addresses the problem of providing asynchronous verbal feedback and communication instead of having to respond in real time. Email and voicemail also perform these asynchronous communication functions, but according to Mitchell, they are not tools that meet the needs of the modern workforce.
So far, 4,500 messages have been served by Yac every month and the company has around 250 active users every day.
Yac was born by the digital design agency SoFriendly and was originally built for Product Hunt & # 39; s Manufacturers festival. The event's winning team, Yac, started as a company when the founding team received a call from Adam Draper, the third generation venture capital investor. Drapers Boost VC was an early supporter of the company, which raised additional funds from Betaworks and Active Capital.
The key, says Mitchell, is the asynchronous aspect of communication that Yac enables. As a distributed team, Yac and SoFriendly were aware of the dangers and nuisances posed by the constantly available real-time communication platforms such as Slack or the personal conference call or the video call via zoom.
"We know a lot of headaches that a completely distant organization faces," says Mitchell. "I hope we're the next zoom, but a distributed workforce."
The company currently has six full-time employees and uses the same freemium model that made Slack so attractive for early-stage companies. The free version offers an unlimited number of messages. However, you can specify how long messages should remain active. There is no retention limit for paying customers, and the company offers transcription services and deeper integration into a team's workflow, Mitchell said. All of this costs $ 8 per user, and the company is launching its first paid plans this month.
"The future of meetings will be asynchronous, in your ears and hands," said Pat Matthews, managing director and founder of Active Capital. "Take a look at a city and you will see that people are no longer working in cabins, but in motion, in coffee shops and multitasking. This is the power of building for remote first employees instead of office workers."
According to Mitchell, the product works well for distributed teams, regardless of whether they are spread over floors of a building or across cities in the United States or around the world.
"Using Yac is like calling a friend while you are working, but because it is asynchronous, you don’t have to bother him. This makes it easier to work remotely, especially when your team is spread across the country," summarizes Charlie Taylor, partnership manager, Bose and an early Yac user, in a statement.
Can the same be done with a voicemail or an email? Mitchell admits that this is possible, but that the experience is clunky and negative. What is more annoying than a missed call? Getting a yac means using a snap -like interface for sending a video message.