The more we continue to work with all or part of our teams in remote environments, outside the physical office, the more it becomes imperative for these teams to put in place tools to keep communication and management channels open, and so that members of these teams have a sense of their performance. Today, one of the startups providing a team productivity app with this in mind is announcing a round of funding to fuel its growth.
Pathlight, which built a performance management platform for customer-facing teams – sales, field service and support – to help managers and employees themselves track and analyze their performance, coach when and where needed, and communicate updates. and more, has raised $ 25 million – money that he will use to continue to develop his customer base and the functionality of his app.
Funding is led by Insight Partners, with participation from former funders Kleiner Perkins and Quiet Capital, alongside Uncorrelated Ventures; Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp; David Glazer, Chief Financial Officer of Palantir; and Michael Ovitz, co-founder of CAA and owner of Broad Beach Ventures. Pathlight has now raised $ 35 million.
Pathlight today provides users with a range of tools to visualize the performance of teams and individuals on various parameters defined by managers, using data that teams integrate from other platforms such as Salesforce, Zendesk. and Outreach, among others.
Using this data and specific metrics for the job in question, managers can then initiate conversations with individuals to focus on specific areas where things need attention, and provide coaching to help resolve that issue. It can also be used to provide team-wide updates and encouragement, which goes along with any other tools a person might use in their day-to-day work dealing with clients.
Since launching in March 2020, the startup has seen good traction, with clients including Twilio, Earnin, Greenhouse, and CLEAR. But maybe more importantly, The pandemic and the resulting shift to remote working have underscored just how necessary tools like Pathlight have become: the startup says engagement on its platform has increased by 300% in the past 12 months .
Alexander Kvamme, CEO of Pathlight, said he saw for the first time the challenges of communicating between teams in contact with customers and being transparent about how they behave as individuals and as individuals. as a group, when he was at Yelp. Yelp had acquired its start-up, the SeatMe reservation service, and used that acquisition to create and execute Yelp reservations.
He soon realized that there were no really effective tools to allow him to see how the individuals in the sales team were doing, how they were doing in relation to the goals the company wanted to achieve. and based on sales data they already had in other systems. , how to work more effectively with people to communicate when something needs to change, and how to adapt all of that to new variations in the formula – in their case, how to sell new products like a reservation service alongside advertising and other Yelp services for businesses.
“Whether it’s five or 3,000 people, the problem is not going away,” he said. “Everyone uses their own systems, and it hurts frontline employees when they don’t know how they’re doing, or aren’t recognized when they’re doing well, or don’t get coaching when they’re not. Our thesis was that if software eats the world, and you as a business buy more software and analytics, over time managers will look more like data analysts. So we’re giving managers a way to be more data-driven. “
Five years later, Kvamme had the bug of starting a business again and decided to reverse this problem, teaming up with co-founder Trey Doig, the engineer who designed SeatMe and then turned it into Yelp. Reservations and is now the CTO of Pathlight.
In their opinion, the challenge has still not really been met. That’s not to say that there aren’t a number of companies – competitors to Pathlight, who are also looking to fill this gap. Last year another people management platform called Lattice raised $ 45 million (I’m guessing they’re going to be fundraising again around now); HubSpot, Zoho, SalesLoft, and a number of others are also taking different approaches to tackling the same challenge: front-line people in contact with customers spend the majority of their time and attention interacting with people, and we must therefore put in place better tools. to help them figure out how to make that communication more effective, understand what works and what doesn’t.
And all of this, of course, isn’t new at all: it’s not like we all woke up one day and suddenly wanted to know how we were doing at work, or that managers suddenly felt like they had need to communicate with staff.
What has changed, however, is the way we work: many of us haven’t seen the inside of our offices for over a year at this point, and for a large part of us us, we may never come back, or if we do. will be in different circumstances.
All of this means that some of the more traditional metrics and metrics of our performance, praise, management relationships, and learning from our teammates are simply not there anymore.
In areas of contact with customers such as sales, support, and field service, this lack of contact can be even more acute, as many teams working in these environments have long relied on clicks and communication everything. throughout the day, week and month to continually refine and improve the work. So while tools like Pathlight are useful as a data analytics provision for teams, no matter how we work, it can be argued that they are even more important at the moment.
“I think people have started to realize that if you can empower the front line to be more independent, your numbers will go up and do better,” Kvamme said.
This is part of what went into the investment decision made here.
“With digital transformation accelerating across the business, it’s not enough to rethink the way we work. We also need to rethink the way we manage, ”said Jeff Lieberman, MD at Insight Partners. “Pathlight ushers in a new era of data-driven management, a philosophy that we believe every business will need to embrace quickly. We are excited to partner with the Pathlight team as they bring their powerful platform to businesses around the world. “