The growing trend of hiring and operating a remote workforce, and recent massive restructuring in several industries, has redefined and disrupted the concept of a team in the workplace. . Even when some people return to the office, many of us do not see each other in person, and even if we have checked in in person or virtual together, our groups of colleagues can quickly change around. Now, a startup that has built a platform for hosting events to help workgroups feel more connected is announcing several funding sources due to strong demand for its services. their own service.
Teamraderieoffers short, live virtual classes and other content led by experts across different categories used in team building events along with software to manage experiences and run feedback on the impact of events, has raised $7 million, funding that the organization will use to expand its platform with more content and for more customers.
The startup’s list of stars running 45-minute courses includes icons like former gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, Pulitzer Prize winners Marcia Chatelain and Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov; and it counts Google, IBM, Twitter, Cisco, Microsoft, and Intuit among its 200 customers, and says it has held classes involving about 50,000 people in about 50 countries to date. (Prices for the service start at $300 and vary depending on the content, number of users, and whether the company is a subscriber or uses Teamraderie to order.)
Founders Fund is leading the round, and Teamraderie says more than 12 “HR and Human Resources Directors” are also participating (which speaks to the audience it targets customers). The company has now raised around $9 million and from what we understand, this Series A values the company at around $60 million.
The rise of Teamraderie comes at a time of rapid growth in the world of work, driven by the force of Covid, layoffs and changing consumer habits.
The broader category of “productivity software” has certainly had a boost to address the shift in the way we work today – Zoom has become a kind of best-in-class for a wide range of tools. video collaboration; Slack is one of dozens of virtual chat platforms; workflow and project management has gone beyond Asana and Trello; etc. But even with all the other productivity boxes checked, Teamraderie points to another challenge that exists in the workplace, specifically in the knowledge worker workplace, that is improving employee relationships. us together as a roadmap to work better together.
Basically, Teamraderie is a bit like Masterclass-meet-LinkedIn Learning, but only focused on business users and potentially used with physical props used as part of the session.
As with other team building concepts, the idea is to place people in unfamiliar environments and away from discussions related to their actual work, in order to refocus their attention on work together, think cooperatively, and understand each other better. (One example: a Nascar host who – in the words of Michael McCarroll, CEO and co-founder of Teamraderie – “reinvented tire changing” would lead a team through tire changes on a model car.)
“Our reason is to make sure that teams can really collaborate effectively,” McCarroll said in an interview. Teams have a lot of relationships and it can be a challenge to really get to know people and understand different perspectives when your team is changing or you’re not working directly with people in an environment In fact, he continues: “We want to get the teams to a point where every member sees every other member as human. If you feel more engaged and understand and care about what others have to say in your group, you will get more value out of it. “
Besides the media and content aspect of its platform, Teamraderie also provides technology to measure the effectiveness of sessions. McCarroll says this, and the key concepts behind Teamraderie, builds on research from Harvard Business School, Stanford University, MIT and the University of Chicago on workplace productivity, support, and inclusion. . But since these will be the places, in our quantifiable world and workplace, that will need to know the impact and ROI for all of this, the idea would be to invest in building more companies. tools to help improve those metrics and use to further develop Teamraderie.
“We use data to customize and develop products,” says McCarroll. “We’re more than just a content company.”
There could also be more investments being made to support the expansion of all of this. McCarroll said today the “hot spot” for the most effective class size is 15 participants or less, with larger groups generally tending to see what he calls “social lending” – That is, it is no longer attractive. This presents an interesting challenge for Teamraderie (and indeed for any tech product that aims to improve productivity remotely): how can you get the same impact? while distributing your product to larger groups than this?
Keith Rabois, head of investment for Founders Fund, said in an interview that the funding environment for startups, whether early stage or later stage, is definitely tightening. He said that in 2022 so far, he’s only offered “two terms sheets for new companies” (excluding those already in the portfolio), compared to “twelve or ten.” three” at this point in 2021. Teamraderie is an easy investment, though. just because it’s doing something different and seeing traction with notable customers, but because of unit economics. “Basically breaking even, which is unusual for a company at this stage of growth,” he said.