Former Yext CEO Launches Roam to Provide Virtual HQ for Distributed Teams TechCrunch

Roam, which bills itself as the “cloud headquarters” for remote, distributed companies, today emerged from the background with $30 million in IVP-led Series A funding with Angel investors’ participation was not disclosed. The stage follows a previously unannounced $10.6 million seed round and values ​​the company at $95 million, said CEO Howard Lerman.

Lerman previously co-founded and led Yext, a publicly traded brand management company that uses a network of cloud-based search engines and apps to update company information on the web. As Yext’s workforce shifted to telework during the pandemic, Lerman noticed that employees lost “sponsaneity and spontaneity,” spent more time in meetings, and started to work. lose the ability to see what other meetings are going on and what their colleagues are doing.

“I had this insight – what if there was a bird’s-eye view of all the Zooms going on at a company at once that everyone could see? And better yet, what if people could move between and between them so they could join as needed and then quickly do their next thing? ” Lerman told TechCrunch via email.

In Lerman’s view, the shift to a predominantly remote workforce doesn’t happen overnight. One survey found that nearly half of employees – 46% – find remote work, at least in the early stages, which can make it more difficult to maintain professional relationships with key stakeholders.

Roam inspired that, providing what Lerman describes as a cloud-based “flexible space” for employees at home, in the office, and in the field. Roam’s map view allows employees to see what’s going on and have “project presence,” says Lerman, as well as chat with colleagues via text or video chat.

Lerman doesn’t reveal much about that — it’s early days for Roam, which now has about 40 corporate customers. But he argues that the platform that exists today can save significant time compared to conventional remote setups.


Image credits: Wander

“I found my personal meeting minutes reduced by more than 40% when I switched from Zoom to Roam from 4.5 hours per day to 2.6 hours per day. My average meeting time in Roam is eight minutes, which is a staggering number when you think about the pre-scheduled world of 30-60 minute Zoom time blocks,” Lerman said.

Shorter and fewer meetings can lead to cost savings through improved productivity. One recent research of the University of North Carolina found that unnecessary meetings waste about $25,000 per employee annually, or $101 million a year for any organization with more than 5,000 employees.

Roam isn’t the first startup trying to tackle the challenges surrounding remote work with a cloud-based workspace. In fact, there are dozens of virtual HQ platforms, some are venture-backed and some are startup-supported, mixing gamification and productivity into one service. In August, Kumospace raised $21 million for its platform, which uses lo-fi graphics and game-like mechanics to create a sense of togetherness. Meeting was another big winner (although ax) in the space, has raised a total of $77 million from investors, including Sequoia, Index, and Y Combinator.

It’s not just startups. This summer, Microsoft launched Viva Engage, an internal social media app for employee engagement. Other companies are experimenting with VR and apps like Oculus for Business or Horizon Workroom, which aim to enhance collaboration with rich meetings for remote employees.

But Lerman strongly believes that Roam is different, having invested all his own money in the seed round. He points out that up to 77% of jobs in the US today are remote or mixed, according to Gallup March 2022. pollrepresent a huge amount of potential customers.

Indeed, after more than two years of working remotely, many employees are not interested when back to the office. Not all businesses to be behind the changesbut there’s no denying that the pandemic has rewritten the rules around the workplace – potentially benefiting startups like Roam.

“We are in the midst of a major platform shift from an office-based workplace to different hybrid and remote models. Before the 2019 pandemic, [only] 40% of jobs in the US are remote or hybrid,” says Lerman. “The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the rate of distributed businesses and the need for a cloud HQ. Regardless of the size or level of their operations, the future of work is at the forefront of almost every company today.”

Roam has 15 employees and plans to hire five more by the end of the year. Lerman declined to disclose financials, including revenue figures, when asked.

Source by [author_name]


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button