Mobilize: 5 Reasons We Fell in ♥︎ With This Next-Gen Group Communication Platform
Today, Trinity Ventures announced its investment in Mobilize, an enterprise-grade communication platform focused on group messaging. I’ve been waiting for months for this news to break, as Mobilize was the first Series A deal I worked on at Trinity!
Since writing the investment memo this past spring, a lot has happened. We’ve seen developments in the messaging ecosystem, spent a lot of time getting to know the team, and increasingly understood their vision for disrupting the way companies engage with their communities. Over this time I have grown in my conviction that our investment hypotheses were right, and while we had many more than five reasons to be excited about Mobilize, I’ve picked some of my favorites to share here.
- Taking on traditional email. Over the past 30 years, the economy has changed tremendously, but professionals are still relying on email as their primary method of communication. Email was invented in the 1970s, and we’re still using the decades-old “To”, “Bcc” and “Reply all”, despite how outdated these features are. For professionals that are primarily external-facing (e.g., BD professionals, Developer Relations teams), death by email is an everyday reality. Mobilize helps these individuals by providing tools designed to manage communication at scale. This means sending and organizing hundreds of messages (both email and SMS), poll responses, and event RSVPs from a single dashboard. Envision a control center built specifically for someone managing a large group of people and even larger number of messages and alerts, and you have Mobilize.
- Built for deskless workers, too. We’ve been talking internally about the rise of the deskless worker for a long time, and a number of Trinity’s investments (e.g., Workpop, MileIQ, and Active Hours) are focused on this segment of the economy. Tens of millions of employees in the US don’t sit behind a computer, but have in recent years started bringing one to work, in their pocket. Additionally, many of these individuals are part-time contractors, or hourly workers, and are thus not set up on corporate email addresses and systems. In order to connect with these individuals, companies must make communication seamless and easy, with minimal technology requirements or barriers to adoption. By allowing professionals from HQ to either email or SMS their communities, companies can meet their employees and partners where they are.
- Group communication: a gap in the market, and a market in the gap? Today, groups are running on a wide array of platforms, most of which are either outdated or not built specifically for the groups use-case. Google Groups, which allows users to create free listservs, launched in 2001 and has made very few changes since. Many teams use Email Service Providers like Mailchimp or Sendgrid, or hack together CRM and home-grown tools. Some are using Slack or Yammer, both of which are primarily built for the internal team (as opposed to external group) use-case. When I worked on the Product Team at Yammer, something we lamented constantly was how different (and difficult) it was to build for external groups. We developed a number of features tailored for External Networks, but external groups — especially large ones of people that don’t know one another — have complex needs (e.g., determining membership, management, admin privileges, security). Ultimately, we prioritized features for teams over those for external networks, as they were more effective in driving engagement and user satisfaction. After our acquisition by Microsoft, many executives commented that providing a comprehensive solution for external networks was a missed opportunity. I agreed, and have been on the lookout for something that addresses this use-case ever since. Mobilize is exactly that platform.
- Great UX, and easy onboarding. At our Trinity offsite in April I presented a slide with the title, “The App is Dead”. While I was somewhat joking, perhaps there is some truth in my sarcasm. Frankly, I think we’ve all observed a general decline in excitement and increase in annoyance with the multitude of notifications on our screens — especially from messaging apps. With all the noise, it is increasingly difficult to compel users to download and use yet another application. I have personally struggled to efficiently engage with the groups of people I work with professionally (e.g., portfolio companies, partners for events, other VCs). With Mobilize, I can easily message out to different sets of individuals without asking them to do anything new. This is mission critical.
- We fell in ❤ with the team. Last, but certainly not least, we were blown away by Sharon, Arthur, and the rest of the Mobilize team. Their passion for building a fantastic product that their beta customers love was evident from the first meeting, and in all our diligence, we just kept hearing was how much people enjoyed working with them.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Mobilize to the Trinity Family. They’re going to mobilize us all, in no time!
To get your team up and running on Mobilize, simply sign up here!