Venture Capital News: Crew Bags $24.9M Series A & B
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Crew announced it has recently closed a $15M Series B round led by Greylock Partners and a previously unannounced $8M Series A led by Sequoia Capital.
Crew today announces a free service that simplifies team communications at work giving leaders and co-workers a powerful new way to instantly send messages and stay up-to-date, manage schedules and give recognition all in one centralized place. Crew is the first communications service designed specifically for the millions of workers who are still using an elaborate system of text messaging, phone calls, printouts and bulletin boards. Teams from a wide range of industries and businesses from grocery stores to emergency services, are using Crew to coordinate day-to-day responsibilities, schedules, and activities. With Crew, they can instantly communicate about everything work-related in one simple-to-use app that is available on any device including iPhone, Android, and Tablets, and via the Web.
In addition, Crew announces it has recently closed a $15 million Series B round led by John Lilly at Greylock Partners and a previously unannounced $8 million Series A led by Matt Huang at Sequoia Capital, bringing the total financing to $24.9 million. Matt Huang and John Lilly have joined Michael Dearing from Harrison Metal on the Board of Directors.
Unlike collaboration software that has evolved around the needs of the office workers, Crew targets the millions of other workers who don't have ready access to effective communications services on the job. Customers include store clerks, restaurant managers, pharmacists, nurses, baristas, coaches, police and fire personnel.
Despite operating in stealth mode with little marketing, Crew has already been adopted by more than 10,000 active organizations that are using it for more than 10 million work-related communications each week. Work-related communications include messages sent and read, shifts posted, time-off requests, one-tap reactions, and tasks completed. Prior to Crew, team communications were disorganized and spread across personal messaging services, social networks, and other offline methods. Many workers had to drive to work to find out about work.
"When teams have the ability to quickly communicate with each other from their mobile devices, this creates new opportunities for a smoother operation and ultimately better customer service," said Danny Leffel, co-founder and CEO of Crew. "Open and clear communications helps everyone have a successful day at work. Over the last year and thanks to extensive input from our customers, we have refined Crew to deliver a highly useful service that leaders can count on to keep their teams up-to-date throughout the work day."
The Crew service dramatically simplifies and organizes all forms of team communication. Crew gives organizations a complete team directory that's accessible to everyone without exchanging phone numbers, opening up the ability to have quick real-time discussions 1:1 or in groups so everyone can share information, solve problems and stay informed. Location groups allow teams to communicate with co-workers on-site and see who is currently at work, which is essential for 24 hour operations. Leaders can make announcements and see who's read them, and anyone can give recognition for great work. Teams can make the weekly shift schedule available on their phones and quickly handle shift covers or assign tasks directly from the app which results in fully staffed, well-prepared teams. With a variety of custom notifications options, leaders and co-workers can manage when they want to receive work-related communications making it easy to separate their work and personal lives.
"Enabling teams to communicate in near real-time requires a highly reliable and trusted service that is tailored to adapt to the way different types of businesses work," said Broc Miramontes, co-founder and CTO of Crew. "Keeping teams on the same page means that it's critical that everyone on the team can use Crew from whatever device they have, which challenges us to design for the broadest set of devices possible."
"There are millions of organizations in the global workforce that depend on personal text messaging to direct their businesses. Crew is the first company to create a communications solution specifically for this customer," said Matt Huang, partner at Sequoia Capital and Crew Board Member. "Crew has created a new platform that will enable leaders to efficiently bring their teams together in an unprecedented way so everything work-related can be addressed all in one place, and we are delighted to offer our support."
"Messaging is a behavior that is already connecting most teams - via some mix of SMS groups, social platforms and more - but these approaches are ad hoc and not optimal for work communication because they are difficult to manage, blend personal and work lives, and are very clunky. Crew combines the power of mobile messaging with intuitive and simple UI to become a single place for team communications, scheduling and tasks," said John Lilly, partner at Greylock and Crew Board Member. "As soon as I met Danny, Broc and the team at Crew, I immediately saw the potential in this idea and knew this was a team and a technology I wanted to back."
Thousands of teams are using Crew to keep everyone on the same page. Crew helps leaders and co-workers across every industry from retail and food and beverage to healthcare and hospitality to construction and government services. Crew creates shared understanding leading to better business performance.
In a recent impact study of 160 leaders whose teams are actively using Crew at work:
95% say that using Crew has improved team communication by 50% or more, including a manager of a national coffee chain who said, "Crew allows me to streamline communication in one place to all of my employees. I can get information out to my entire team in just a few seconds."
79% say using Crew has increased motivation on their team including a GM of a national gas station and convenience store chain who said, "If you were able to look at my Crew App I post pictures everyday or every other day of how my team members are doing in sales individually. It helps motivate them to truly outsell their coworkers. Keeps them engaged which to me is everything."
73% say using Crew has increased team spirit, including a Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit organization who said,"We are all motivated to do our best to reach as many people as possible! Crew has made that possible so our teams spirit is way up!"
68% say using Crew has increased attendance on their team, including a manager of a national eye glass retailer who said, "Immediate access to weekly schedule ensures all employees have prior knowledge of shifts."
96% say using Crew has saved them time, including a GM of a national restaurant chain who said, "Better use of time, better organization, better consistent communications and easier to get everyone on the same page by having simple communications."
Features of Crew
Messaging for Work
Simplify team communication with group messaging and 1:1 conversations. Crew gives you an instant team directory that connects all co-workers without exchanging phone numbers. You can easily add or remove co-workers at anytime. Leaders can use Announcements to share important updates with the team. Read receipts let everyone see exactly who has read each message. Location Groups show you who is at work so you can communicate only with co-workers who are on site. Teams can send unlimited photos and videos, manage notification preferences and respond to all communications in one click with over a dozen reactions ranging from 'thanks!' to 'mic drop'.
Schedules and Shift Covers
Make the weekly schedule available on everyone's phones. Upload a photo or make one with the app. Get complete management of shift covers, pick-ups and time off requests, all with manager approvals. Keep track of hours worked and wages earned plus get shift reminders so you always know exactly when you are working.
Task Assignment and Tracking
Get more done with Tasks you can assign to individual team members or groups. Crew lets you track the status and notifies you when tasks are completed so it's easy to keep your team running smoothly.
Crew makes recognition more impactful with real-time kudos that are seen by the entire team. Both leaders and co-workers can recognize great work by awarding a Gold Star to a specific team member to say thank you or celebrate a job well done.
Options for Team Leaders
Special permissions allow team leaders to manage in the way that works best for their team. Leaders decide who can add new team members and upload the schedule and can require approval for shift covers and time off.
Based in San Francisco, California and founded in 2015 by Danny Leffel and Broc Miramontes, Crew is a free service designed specifically for leaders and co-workers who want to communicate with their teams about everything work-related directly from any device. Crew helps teams achieve shared understanding so everyone can have a successful day at work. With more than 10 million communications per week by more than 10 thousand active organizations, businesses run more smoothly and profitably with Crew. Crew has raised $24.9M from Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Harrison Metal, and Aspect Ventures.
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