RealtimeBoard, a visual collaboration tool particularly suited to distributed teams, has picked up $ 25 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, with participation from existing investor AltaIR Capital.
The 150 person-strong company — which itself is distributed across offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, and Perm — says it will use the additional capital to continue to scale, including building out its customer acquisition capabilities by bolstering sales and marketing teams, and growing its user community.
To that end, RealtimeBoard counts the likes of Hubspot, Skyscanner, Qlik, Autodesk, Netflix, and Twitter as customers, and claims 2 million users worldwide. The startup generates revenue by charging for use of its SaaS on a per seat basis for teams or company wide.
“As companies continue to compete for talent, and how we work rapidly changes, connecting the dots between teams in different offices, hubs or cultures becomes harder and harder,” says RealtimeBoard founder and CEO Andrey Khusid.
“Often the first teams to be distributed are product teams (to resolve the war for talent), and rituals that are built into product development frameworks like design thinking or scrum, which require visual collaboration (usually on a whiteboard), are challenging to scale”.
To solve this, Khusid says RealtimeBoard is building a visual collaboration platform that enables white-boarding work to happen in a digital space, and can serve as the glue between other collaboration platforms used by companies.
“[It] can be the visual hub for teams to huddle around and use throughout the product development process, design, sprint, or project lifecycle,” he says. “RealtimeBoard creates transparency and continuity through all stages of the product development process from ideation to development to launch”.
Features RealtimeBoard offers include the ability for teams to create virtual spaces or huddle boards to collaborate, where users can sketch, annotate, add posts, create flow charts or draw freehand on an infinite whiteboard canvas. The tool also supports comments, @mentions, live chat and video conferencing.
Crucially, the platform integrates with other commonly-used workforce tools such as Google Docs, Slack, Sketch, Jira, Trello, and Dropbox and more.
“All the major productivity tools can be embedded into RealtimeBoard, so we are enabling work that happens between systems happen in one place by incorporating all relevant content and conversations into the same visual space,” explains Khusid. “And, with some bi-directional integrations with Google Docs, Office 365, and Jira, you can do work in RealtimeBoard and update information in other systems and visa versa”.
Meanwhile, Khusid tells me the company’s early adopters have been “rapidly scaling tech companies” that leverage modern collaboration frameworks like Agile, Scrum, Lean, Design Thinking, etc., and that these teams are used to leveraging whiteboard rituals and are looking for ways to improve and scale in order to better engage remote team members. RealtimeBoard is also being used by around 100 enterprises, such as Salesforce, Netflix, SAP, Autodesk, Ikea, and Cisco.
Adds Khusid: “[They] have active workforce transformation initiatives to roll out things like ‘Design Thinking; globally or drive innovation through new tools and ways of collaborating. We also see a lot of management consulting companies like PwC, McKinsey, BCG and Deloitte that leverage RealtimeBoard to innovate with their customers”.