Ourspace, the Collaborative Team Design Platform, Raises $2.5M in Funding Led by Connect Ventures and Seedcamp

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Founded in 2022 by three tech veterans, Megan Murphy (former VP of Product at Hotjar), Stephanie Bowker (former VP of Marketing at Spendesk) and Mark Allen (former Senior Director of Engineering at Glovo), who have bonded over their common challenges to proactively restructure and align their teams at scale, Ourspace is purpose-built software for technology leaders to equip them to make smarter team design decisions by bringing people together , projects and priorities in one contextual place.

Team design is a critical part of a manager’s role in deciding who works on what initiatives and how teams collaborate effectively. These decisions have a significant impact not only on an organization’s ability to achieve its goals, but also on one’s overall engagement and longer-term career trajectory.

Digital transformation and the future of work

In 2022, spending on digital transformation is expected to reach $1.8 trillion, and that figure is expected to reach $2.8 trillion by 2025. Statista reports that this number encompasses spending to transform business processes and services from the no digital to digital, including communication and collaboration tools and technological devices.

A recent McKinsey report found that around 20-25% of the workforce in advanced economies could work from home three to five days a week, which “is four to five times more remote work than ‘before the pandemic and could lead to a significant change in the geography of work, as individuals and businesses move from big cities to suburbs and small towns’. According to the report, negotiations, critical business decisions, brainstorming sessions, providing sensitive feedback and onboarding new employees are examples of activities that can lose some effectiveness when performed remotely. .

Silicon Valley Bank reported last year that 83% of employers saw positive results with a work-from-home model, while San Francisco saw a 35% increase in out-of-town migration as workers were returning home or looking for new (cheaper) ones. . 43% of companies surveyed by the World Economic Forum in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, indicated that they were preparing to reduce their workforce due to technological integration. By 2025, it is estimated that the time spent on routine work tasks by humans and machines will be equal.

The 8th edition of the Women in the Workplace report released last week by Lean In and McKinsey found that women leaders are changing jobs at the highest rate we’ve ever seen – and at a faster rate than men in the world. leadership, and demand more opportunities, more flexibility and a greater commitment to diversity and inclusion. To put the scale of the problem into perspective: for every woman in a leadership position who gets a promotion, two women directors choose to leave their company. According to the report, remote and hybrid working is a game-changer for women: only 1 in 10 women want to work primarily on-site, and it’s not just about flexibility. When women work remotely, they experience fewer microaggressions and greater psychological safety, and this is especially true for women of color and women with disabilities.

People management and product development

“Tech leaders today face a big problem: they have talented people on their teams, but how they should be distributed and how to keep them engaged and aligned is currently a manual, biased and costly decision-making process” , shares Ourspace co-founder and CEO Megan. Murphy. Prior to co-founding Ourspace, Murphy was vice president of product at Hotjar, where she led the product, design and data disciplines behind the company’s one million B2B SaaS accounts, and prior to that held the first position of chief product at N26, as well as Product Leadership roles at Skyscanner and two start-up startups.

Ourspace is about building teams to accomplish their missions, and Murphy explains how she and her team believe the best way to do that is to provide leaders with “more context, better collaboration, and a people-centric approach. for team design”. .

In conversations with over 60 technology leaders, the ‘OMG managing my people/product/technology stack puzzle is a nightmare’ prevailed. She explains how CPOs, engineering managers, and growth leaders, from startups to scale-ups, currently pull together at least three different sources of documentation that are typically outdated and out of sync with the HR team. “It gives leaders the flexibility to forgo data-driven team decisions or spend hours each week maintaining that critical data.”

In the long term, Ourspace seeks to serve all organizations where work is done in teams, while in the short term, the focus is on multidisciplinary teams in technology companies that work in a dynamic environment (with a more short, a hyper-scale, a new product strategy, etc). “Typically, the need becomes very evident above 200 employees,” says Ourspace co-founder Stephanie Bowker, who has a strong track record of building brands, particularly in her former role as VP of Marketing at Spendesk. , where she helped grow the company from $1 million to $50 million and built a community of over 10,000 members.

A very important feature of the platform is that everyone in the company has access as an end user to see the changes reflected in Ourspace as a “source of truth”, shares Bowker, to see who owns what and how to better collaborate between teams . “Ultimately, we’re not just looking to help leaders fill seats, but to empower them to strategically, intentionally and inclusively build teams that reflect the diversity of the people they serve,” adds Bowker.

For example, Ourspace could be used as a team design tool based on individual attributes (e.g. skills, seniority, seniority, domain experience), for team restructuring due to product or strategy pivots , as a vacation cover tool for paternity leave, sabbaticals and vacations, or for team accountability and goals for peer alignment.

“We build our product to reflect our values ​​and the values ​​of our customers,” shares Mark Allen, co-founder and CTO, “with transparency and collaboration built in by default.” Previously, Allen led the B2B engineering organization at Glovo, which built and managed the technology used by hundreds of thousands of Glovo delivery and logistics partners to process millions of orders every day, and prior to Glovo, he was engineering lead in a travel metasearch. Skyscanner company.

The three co-founders agreed that it doesn’t make sense, to say the least, that some of the most expensive talent at many tech companies would spend hours and hours piecing together disparate artifacts to figure out how fill a single resignation. “Instead, we believe leaders should invest their time in more strategic work that drives the business and their teams forward,” Allen adds.

The company’s latest funding round, $2.5 million in pre-seed funding, was led by Connect Ventures with participation from Seedcamp, as well as angel investors including Maze founders Grabya and Skew by Coinbase, to accelerate product development and customer discovery.

“Product-market fit is important, but just as important is the fit with people’s problems. We know how important teams are to a company’s success, and we’ve seen examples where companies have failed because they failed to find the right people. -problem fit. Ourspace not only tackles the problem with the right product, but they have the right people tackling the solution,” shares Felix Martinez, investor at Seedcamp, with me in an email.

“We believe that in today’s software-driven world, we need to do better. We need to raise the bar in how we design the teams that build software that shapes our future and we believe that a product designed specifically for design teams is not only more efficient than assembling various documents” , conclude the three co-founders sharing their hope. how Ourspace will equip leaders to better lead by example by putting their people first.

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