By Jules Maltz, Dennis Phelps and Shreyas Garg
The shift to remote work and a geographically dispersed workforce has given companies and employees greater flexibility and freedom, but let’s face it: we all miss walking over to a desk and immediately connecting with our colleagues.
In the new, distributed world of work, employees often feel disconnected from their fellow team members, and miss the serendipity, creativity and energy that come from in-person interactions. Monthly or quarterly team bonding activities are, for many remote employees, a poor substitute for the boost they get from daily or weekly office culture. Zoom fatigue is real and it’s only getting worse.
What employees and teams need are genuine interactions beyond emails, instant messages and obligatory video calls. They and their organizations want a connective platform that allows them to capture the informality and serendipity of personal interactions, regardless of where in the world they are physically. These are the hallmarks of strong human relationships, and we believe that improving employee and team communication and culture in a format that is invigorating, instead of draining, creates more efficient companies that will attract and keep top talent. This is why IVP is leading a $30M Series A investment in Roam, a new collaboration platform customizable to meet the needs of all distributed teams, so people can meet and connect regardless of where they are.
Roam, Around The World
By reducing the friction to meaningfully and instantly interact with others, Roam makes getting work done easier and faster as it strengthens individual relationships and organizational culture. As your headquarters in the cloud, Roam invites personality, visibility, serendipity and individual connectivity back to distributed work by connecting and displaying every remote and in-person employee in an intuitive visual interface. You can easily start conversations with colleagues whether they’re working from home, in-office, in a co-working space, or out in the field.
Colleagues can instantly see when someone is back from vacation–or back from lunch–and quickly knock on their virtual office door to say hello. Roam gives people working in separate floors, shifts or time zones the camaraderie of seeing and talking with one another, spontaneously, in a group or one-to-one.
Companies customize their Roam Cloud HQ to fit their remote and hybrid collaboration needs. You can design your organization’s floor plan, place people or teams on floors together, and brand all of it with your company’s logo and colors. Roam’s patent-pending Graphical Office Interface provides a real-time bird’s eye view of your entire distributed team: who is present, whose door is locked and who’s meeting with whom (similar to what you’d see in a physical office).
Roam was explicitly designed for this new distributed world we live in: meetings are audio first by default, so that collaborations can start more like phone calls without the demands of person-to-person video. Employees can natively collaborate on 3rd party apps within the platform and not have to watch people screenshare. If the company wants to have an all-hands or a small group meeting, there are rooms in Roam to do that quickly and efficiently. Employees across various offices and remote workers can all finally feel together on one platform. As users of Roam for the last several months, we’ve seen the power of the platform firsthand and we’re excited that Roam today emerged from stealth mode and is ready to share this powerful platform with the world. You can request a Beta invitation at Ro.am.///
Backing CEO Howard Lerman a Second Time
Roam’s CEO, Howard Lerman, is an inspirational leader. He founded Roam with deep experience navigating the remote-work challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. He previously founded and led Yext, a company IVP also invested in 13 years ago, growing it to more than 1,000 employees. With Roam, Howard has assembled a “dream team” of some of the best audio and visual engineers, product leaders, and executives, many of whom have worked together before, including Tom Dixon, Sean MacIsaac, Jon Brod, Grace Sutherland, Jeff Grossman and Kevin Caffrey. These leaders understand the challenges organizations with distributed workforces are eager to overcome and are working tirelessly to create the future of work.
We are excited to invest in Howard for the second time as he builds Roam and helps all companies launch their headquarters in the cloud. Onward!