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Team CRV

#PowerToTheCommunityLeader — Tribe Connects Businesses With Their Online Communities

By Anna Khan, General Partner

Finding, and staying connected with, your community has always been paramount and the pandemic poignantly reminded all of us of that fact. Maintaining our personal relationships and networks help us feel stitched to our community. It’s also something that has become increasingly important for the biggest enterprises in the world, especially in an era of physical distancing.

For instance, we can’t always “see” our customers in physical retail stores or at face-to-face events, but that doesn’t mean we should be socially disconnected. This is where the role of an online community becomes paramount. For every kind of business, both big and small, community is rapidly becoming the most important asset a company needs to build and cultivate. It helps people stay connected and engage with each other, however, community management doesn’t have to be complex or feel like hand-to-hand combat. Tribe is the company that is making building and growing a community an enjoyable experience.

Tribe is a customizable community platform that is designed for everyone — including those who don’t consider themselves to be tech-savvy. Its no-code software service allows clients to launch their own customized community platform regardless of how many employees they have. At the end of the day, whether you have two employees or a team of 2,000 people, every company wants to engage and delight its customers. In fact, Tribe is sleek enough that anyone, from a CEO to a head of marketing, can easily create a community — from a customer focused community for women and a non-profit community for kids (Tim Hortons Foundation Camps community) to a SaaS customer community for salespeople (like the one Pipedrive built).

We’ve backed the Tribe team since 2020, just one year after the company formally launched in 2019. CRV co-leading Tribe’s $7.5 million seed round demonstrates that this is no longer a nascent area, that as a firm we firmly see the value in this sector and the broad appeal of the community space as a whole.

Tribe distinguishes itself because it doesn’t just assume what enterprises want from their communities — instead, it gives enterprises the tools to build their communities from scratch. With Tribe, companies can develop their communities in a way that showcases what is special about them. By essentially providing companies with the right kinds of Legos, brands can leverage Tribe to build what’s right for them and their community. This is what makes communities built out on Tribe such a secret weapon for brands.

With Tribe, companies like IBM and Tim Hortons get the freedom to build out communities that stand out from the pack. Because, let’s face it, at the end of the day no activation manager, product manager, or head of content and community ever sets out to craft a bespoke community strategy that, well, just ends up looking like a carbon copy of everyone else’s community strategy.

Siavash Mahmoudian, the Co-Founder and CEO of Tribe

There’s a lot to love about this company. First off, Tribe is headquartered outside of the United States in Toronto and all three of Tribe’s co-founders originally hail from Iran, not Silicon Valley. (Fun fact: Siavash is responsible for building Iran’s first community of iPhone fans.) Tribe is also a 100 percent remote company. Being remote has enabled it to hire talented employees based around the globe in places like Germany and Spain. We love the fact that Siavash and Tribe are committed to supporting a diverse team because that’s an important aspect of our firm.

CRV is a small close-knit firm, yet we all come from different backgrounds and perspectives, which I love. This is our crew at an investor offsite earlier this year. When CRV partners with a company, this whole team has your back.

CRV invests early on in companies like DoorDash and Patreon. In many cases we back these companies during the first year they’re founded. As we watch these businesses grow from a team made up of two to four employees to massive powerhouses with hundreds of employees and customers, we’ve seen firsthand how critical it is for each of them to harness the power of their customer communities which is precisely why we’re so excited about Tribe.

Large companies have always known the importance, and value of community. Tech-focused businesses like Cribl (a CRV-backed company), Github, GitLab, and Intercom all the way through to mainstream consumer brands like Lululemon, Nike, and Yeti have been fostering their community led growth for years. Much like open source, strong community feedback betters your product and brand. The bigger the community, the better the feedback loops, and the stronger the growth flywheel. We’re thrilled to see Tribe increasing in traction and looking forward to more brands, both big and small, seeing the benefits of embracing and supporting their vibrant communities.

Since we first partnered with Tribe a year ago, a lot has happened. The team re-architected the entire product by making it more agile and more customizable and they also launched Tribe’s app store. This fast-moving startup is also actively hiring, so if shaping the future of human connections while working remotely sounds like a dream job that’s right up your alley, swing on by and check out some of Tribe’s open roles.

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CRV

CRV is a VC firm that invests in early-stage enterprise, consumer and biotech startups. We’ve invested in +400 startups like DoorDash, Airtable and Iterable.