The more that we digitise our interactions with work colleagues, the more we will need tools to help handle that process more smoothly. Today, Monday.com — one of the wave of startups that works in the larger category of workplace collaboration tools — is announcing a significant growth round that speaks to this demand. The company (formerly known as Dapulse when it was founded in Tel Aviv) has raised $50 million that sources close to the company tell me was made at a pre-money valuation of $500 million.
Monday.com has only raised $84.1 million since 2014, and its big valuation boost is down to its strong growth. It currently has 35,000 businesses and organisations as paying customers (no freemium tier as with Slack: simply a short free trial before you pay), with the list featuring many illustrious, big business names such as Carlsberg Group, Discovery Channel, McDonalds, and WeWork.
Equally impressive are the company’s investors: this Series C round was led by Stripes — the firm that has backed a number of big tech startups including Blue Apron, Udemy and Refinery29 — along with participation from previous investors Insight Venture Partners and Entrée Capital. LeumiTech, part of Israel’s Leumi Bank, has also extended a line of credit to the company to help with growth. The equity funding is coming in at $20 million, with the credit accounting for the remaining $30 million.
Startups/products like Slack and Yammer have most definitely put the concept of workplace collaboration on the map as something that can be useful and well used in an office environment, a significant thing, since one of the big issues with a lot of enterprise software is simply getting people to — at best — actually engage with it and — at worst — not just develop longstanding grudges against it.
Roy Mann, the CEO who co-founded the company with Eran Zinman, says that Monday.com isn’t exactly targeting the same kind of “collaboration” as these with their emphasis on text-based communications. Rather, companies can essentially build their own productivity tracking and collaborating environments using modular tools and integrations with other programs, to suit whatever their needs might be. Notably, the company’s first client and the impetus for starting Dapulse, was the DIY web design company Wix, and some of the ethos and DNA of DIY design, and the aim of providing technology to non-tech businesses, is very much in evidence here.
“A lot of the opportunity for us is in the non-tech world, which is about 70 percent of our customer base,” said Mann. “We’re talking companies like architecture firms and restaurants.” (Apologies to architects who fancy themselves techie. Maybe you’re in the minority!) “This means that our ‘competitors’ are Excel files and whiteboards because most of these people have just not found the right tools.”
That focus on the wider range of businesses in the world also is one reason why Monday.com has attracted investment.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Roy, Eran, and rest of the monday.com team in their mission to transform the way people work together,” said Ken Fox, founder and managing partner of Stripes Group, in a statement. “Monday.com’s broad applicability across use cases, verticals, and geographies position it well to be the next truly horizontal platform for the enterprise.”
For those who are in the tech industry or already using some kind of collaboration product, he says that more obvious apps that it competes with include Wrike, Asana, Trello, Jira and so on. Ironically, though, Mann also says that ideally all of these could integrate with Monday.com to help organizations that might use them but also want to see the bigger picture. “It’s a very complex ecosystem, with lots of solutions but also overlap,” he said.
The funding will be used to expand Monday.com’s platform and the kinds of services it can offer itself rather than by way of integrating with third parties. Today, the company is launching three of these.
A Column Center will give 15 new functionalities that can be tracked from the Monday.com dashboard directly, including location views, time tracking and creation logs.
Board Views will offer more visualisation features of the data you have in the system already to identify trends and extract more insights.
And finally, a new feature called Monday Stories will be a community board where companies that use Monday.com can speak to each other to get tips and advice — cross-silo communications that we’ve seen emerge also in services like Slack and Facebook’s Workplace.
“I think project management not how people work today. It’s dead,” Mann told me. “The world is moving to a different place. It’s become flatter with not so much hierarchy. People now need real time information, not just instructions from a single person at the top.” He also feels that the information sharing that you can get out of Monday.com can help break silos within companies.
“It’s amazing that you can have five people in a team and others don’t know what they are doing,” he said. “We break all those silos.”