Friday, a Portland-based tech startup, has received a $2.1 million investment to develop and market its suite of tools that help schedule and organize remote workplaces.
The seed funding round announced Monday is led by Bessemer Venture Partners, a San Francisco-based investment firm, along with several other funding partners.
Friday’s products allow companies to streamline schedules, assignments, meetings and work routines for teams working remotely.
The company will spend its seed funding to develop and market its products and hire more people. It intends to double its four-employee staff in the next eight to ten months, said CEO Luke Thomas. Half the company’s personnel are based in Maine.
“Virtually all dollars raised will go towards ‘people costs,’” Thomas said in an email.
Demand for technology that improves remote work arrangements has soared as tens of millions of people have moved out of crowded offices and into home workplaces during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is likely that remote work arrangements will remain popular even after it becomes safe to return to offices and shared workplaces. The desire for flexible work options moving forward “means that companies can no longer rely on the office anymore to provide the structure and connective tissue that it provided in the past,” Friday said in a news release.
The company’s product suite includes programs for a daily planner, work routines, goals, integration of different communications and other tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, and analytics to track time spent in meetings, productivity and morale.
“At Friday, we’ve built a way to capture the structure and connectedness of the office in a way that respects the number one benefit of remote work, which is a more flexible work environment,” Thomas said in a statement. “Unlike workplace chat software and video conferencing apps, Friday does not require constant presence to stay in rhythm and move work forward. Friday is like an orchestration layer that sits on top of tools you already use – it cuts down on the noise and gives you more time to work on the right things.”
The company received a $450,000 investment in February, less than two months before the pandemic suddenly made everyday remote work a reality for huge numbers of workers. The company was among 10 finalists in a Zoom App Marketplace Competition, a program similar to “Shark Tank” held in May.
While Friday’s involvement in the competition did not lead directly to investment, it helped with awareness, Thomas said.
Bessemer Venture Partners, which describes itself as “the world’s most experienced early-stage venture capital firm,” led the funding round along with Active Capital, Underscore, El Cap Holdings, TLC Collective and New York Venture Partners.
“Many remote teams are struggling with the visibility problem of knowing what everyone is working on,” said Active Capital CEO Pat Matthews in a statement. “We believe Friday is best positioned to solve this problem with their focus on automating routine updates that help form strong habits.”