Teamraderie, a B2B MasterClass-like platform for team building, raises $7M

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The growing trends of hiring and managing remote workforces, and more recently the major upheaval of restructuring in a number of industries, have redefined and disrupted the concept of teams at work. Although some are returning to the office, many of us are not seeing each other in person, and even if we checked in virtually or in person, our groups of colleagues could move quickly. Now, a startup that built a platform to host events to help work teams feel more connected to each other is announcing funding due to high demand for its own services.

Teamtraderiewhich offers short live virtual classes and other content led by experts from different categories used in team building events, as well as software to manage experiences and generate feedback on the impact of events, has raised $7 million, funding it will use to expand its platform with more content and to more customers.

The star roster of the startup that runs 45-minute classes includes icons like former gymnasts Nadia Comaneci and Bart Conner, Pulitzer Prize winner Marcia Chatelain and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov; and that counts Google, IBM, Twitter, Cisco, Microsoft and Intuit among its 200 clients, and claims to have run courses covering some 50,000 people to date in around 50 countries. (Service pricing starts at $300 and varies depending on content, number of users, and whether the business is a subscriber or uses Teamraderie à la carte.)

Founders Fund is leading the round, and Teamraderie said a group of more than 12 “HR directors and HR directors” are also participating (indicating who it is targeting as clients). 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 change in the world of work, shaken by the forces of COVID, layoffs and changing consumer habits.

The broader category of “productivity software” has definitely had a boost to cope with the change in the way we work today – Zoom has become something of a palimpsest for a wide range of video collaboration tools; Slack is one of dozens of virtual chat platforms; workflow and project management go far beyond Asana and Trello; And so on. But even when all the other productivity boxes have been checked, Teamraderie talks about another challenge that exists in the workplace, especially the knowledge worker workplace, that of improving our relationships with each other. as a way to work better together.

At its core, Teamraderie is a bit like MasterClass-meets-LinkedIn Learning, but focused solely on business users. and potentially used with physical accessories 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, to refocus their attention on working together, collaborative thinking and getting to know each other better. (An example: a NASCAR announcer who – in the words of Michael McCarroll, CEO and co-founder of Teamraderie – “reinvented the tire change” will lead a team through a tire change on a model car.)

“Our reason for being is to make sure teams can really collaborate effectively,” McCarroll said in an interview. Teams have a range of relationships, and it can be difficult to really get to know people and understand different perspectives when your team changes or you’re not working directly with everyone in a physical environment, he continued. “We want to bring teams to a point where every member sees every other member as a human being. If you feel more connected and understand and care about what others have to say on your team, you get more valuable.

In addition to the media and content aspect of its platform, Teamraderie also provides technology to measure the effectiveness of sessions. McCarroll said this, and the main concepts behind Teamraderie, were built on research from Harvard Business School, Stanford University, MIT and the University of Chicago around productivity, support and inclusiveness in the workplace. But because it will be those in our quantified workplaces and world who will need to know the impact and ROI of all of this, the idea will be to invest in building more tools to help improve those metrics as well, and use that to keep Teamraderie growing.

“We use data to personalize and develop the product,” McCarroll said. “We’re not just a content company.”

There may also be more investments made to help bring it all to scale. Today, the “sweet spot” for the most effective class sizes is 15 participants or less, McCarroll said, with larger groups in general tending to what he called “social loafing” – c that is to say, no longer engage. This presents an interesting challenge for Teamraderie (and really for any technology product aimed at improving remote productivity): how can you achieve the same impact while delivering your product to groups larger than this?

Keith Rabois, who led the investment for Founders Fund, said in an interview that the funding environment for startups, whether early stage or later, is most certainly tightening. He said in 2022 so far he has only offered “two term sheets to new businesses” (not counting those already in the portfolio), compared to “twelve or thirteen” at this point in 2021. was an easy investment, however, not just because it does something different and attracts notable customers, but because of the unit economics. “It’s basically breaking even, which is unusual for a company at this stage of growth,” he said.

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