Why We Invested in Fellow

Lainy Painter
Craft Ventures
Published in
3 min readOct 27, 2021

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Today Craft Ventures is excited to announce that we are leading the $24M Series A in Fellow, a meeting productivity tool.

Remote work is here to stay… and managers are exhausted

Working remotely means employees and managers have fewer organic touchpoints. Gone are the days of being able to intuit from across the office or meeting room that an issue has emerged. Managers are holding more and more 1:1 meetings in order to connect with employees but the value of meetings has not improved. Meeting management has emerged as a critical thing to get right — for managers to stay sane and for teams to optimize productivity.

Enter Fellow. Fellow is a meeting productivity and management tool. Right out of the gate, Fellow helps teams have productive meetings but also helps managers run their teams: It provides a beautiful interface to create agendas, record to-dos, and track progress over time. Team leaders love it because it syncs directly with calendars, consolidates meeting notes scattered across Docs, and radically improves the quality of 1:1 meetings.

  • Calendar First. The calendar is the organizing principle for Fellow: it integrates with Google and Outlook calendar to seamlessly steer users from meeting to meeting. It provides the appropriate context before a daily standup, a 1:1 or a weekly steering committee. All attendees can add to the agenda or the organizer can leverage a pre-built template to run best practices. Fellow is built on the belief that meetings are just workflows and those workflows should be planned and efficient.
  • Virality. Fellow spreads virally in organizations. The freemium model allows anyone to sign up and begin using the product with their calendar and Zoom or Google Meets. One manager, like a VP of Customer Success or Director of Engineering, typically starts using the product with her team. Within a few weeks, the entire department has seen the value. Usage then begins to spread across teams until it hits an inflection point and the entire company has been exposed to better ways of working. Managers and ICs with high numbers of meetings quickly become DAUs.

I run my day on Fellow.

Each week starts with our Monday Investment Meeting; the agenda is built collaboratively with Fellow. The Zoom Zapp store integration allows my Fellow notes to follow me all day, from first meetings with founders to quarterly board meetings. I embed my slide decks, charts, and commentary into each agenda and end my day by reviewing my consolidated to-do list. Best of all, I get a break from Slack, the all-day meeting with no agenda. Instead of constant messages and emails on any number of things, I add talking points to my next scheduled meeting. I can stay organized and my colleagues can stay focused instead of fielding one-off messages all day.

Fellow joins Craft’s portfolio of Bottom-Up SaaS companies like ClickUp and Sourcegraph who have mastered viral adoption of their platforms. Indeed, there’s nothing better than when ARR goes viral! We are thrilled these companies can share learnings across teams.

Fellow founders Aydin, Amin, and Samuel have been working together for more than a decade. They sold their last company to SurveyMonkey before turning their attention to making managers more productive. We look forward to the journey ahead — and to better meetings!

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Lainy Painter
Craft Ventures

SaaS. Women's progress. Unsolicited product feedback. Views here are my own, not those of Battery Ventures; nothing here is meant as investment advice.