We’re pleased to share today that Ada Ventures has led the pre-seed round in Organise. Organise is a technology platform for workers to self-organise, and campaign anonymously for fairer treatment at work. This is much needed — even more so in the context of a massive economic recession catalysed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies are becoming more and more powerful and employees, particularly lower paid employees at large companies, lack the tools to come together to fight for issues that affect them most. Organise exists to give everyone the tools, network and confidence to improve their lives at work.
At Ada Ventures, we only invest in the boldest ideas with global ambition, and only in people who are looking to have a positive impact on the world around them. Organise is a great example of this. The company has already had a huge impact on tens of thousands of people, enabling them to get a fair deal at work and the rights and benefits that they’re legally entitled to. We’re pleased to invest in Organise to enable them to expand the reach, scope and impact of their work.
What was the process that led to investment?
Bex and Nat, the co-founders of Organise, read about Ada Ventures through our fundraising announcement and uploaded their deck to our website through our submission form just before Christmas.
Like all good founders they followed up on the 10th of January to check whether we’d seen the deck. We organised to speak the next week. Just over two months after our first call we’d closed the investment.
Why does Organise fit the Ada Thesis and what got us excited?
- It’s an overlooked and underserved market. It’s not often that we review companies that are completely unlike anything we’ve seen before and genuinely disruptive in the true sense of the word. When it does happen, we get very interested. Organise is an unusual combination of digital trade union, surveying tool, benefits platform and social network all underpinned by technology. They are operating in a space where there are very few other solutions offered and serving a customer group that has largely been ignored; low paid employees at large companies who lack a voice and rights that they’re legally entitled to.
- The product empowers an overlooked segment of the population. If you’ve been reading these posts about our first few investments you’ll know that companies that empower their customers is a key investment theme. Organise empowers their customers with the technology, tools, evidence and network to make changes in their organisations. Already Organise has effected change at some of the world’s biggest multinational corporations including McDonalds, ITV and Tesco.
- The team are mission driven leaders dedicated to improving people’s lives at work. Co-founders Bex and Nat have worked together for over five years and previously worked together at political campaigning platform 38 Degrees. Bex has been described as ‘a thorn in Jeff Bezos’s side’ for her work highlighting mistreatment at Amazon. The team are passionate about seeing people take action to improve their working lives and to spread ideas about how to improve entire sectors.
- Customers love the service. An early signal that we look for is customer love. Organise has grown from 70,000 users when we first invested, to 600,000 just three months later (I have had to edit this article several times whilst it has been in drafts as the numbers have just kept rising)! This type of growth shows a high level of value and virality. Not only that, but Organise have also achieved major impact for their customers, all whilst working under lockdown in the UK. For example:
- Organise ran a successful campaign to extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme — mobilising their community to collect over 100,000 petition signatures, facilitate surveys, spearhead email campaigns, and flood the Chancellor with Tweets calling for more support.
- 21,000 Organise members petitioned the NHS to demand that all pregnant staff be given the right to work from home with full pay during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Waterstones staff from the Organise community started an open letter to their CEO, asking the book shop to financially support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now that Organise have closed their funding round they are looking to reach their target of 1 million users by the end of 2020 and expanding to new territories, in particular the US market. We’re excited to be joining existing investors including some great angels, Bethnal Green Ventures, and to have our friends Form Ventures, RLC Ventures and Ascension Ventures investing with us in the round.
As with any young company there are certainly big challenges ahead but we’re looking forward to seeing the dent that Organise can make in the world.