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Welcoming Parabol to the M12 Portfolio

By Priyanka Mitra and Adam Coccari

We’re excited to welcome Parabol — the leading platform for running Agile meetings — to the M12 portfolio as lead of their Series A round.

One of our favorite aspects of the diligence process is speaking with a startup’s customers. When a customer is visibly excited to speak about a company’s product during a reference call, it’s always a good sign. But when this happens with every customer, you know that a startup is on to something great. This infectious evangelism is exactly what we felt firsthand when talking to users of Parabol. Parabol’s customers consistently shared that the tool made their teams more efficient; as one evangelist explained, “People at our company who I had never met were asking how they could get Parabol for their group.” This kind of enthusiasm is a testament to the customer centricity and prioritization of the user experience that drives the team at Parabol.

According to Doodle’s 2019 State of Meetings report, the cost of poorly organized meetings in the United States is almost $400 billion. Whether meetings are set with an unclear purpose, or a meeting organizer relies on inefficient processes to work through an agenda, time and resources are at risk as soon as a meeting hits the books. To address this major pain point, Parabol is creating software that makes every meeting feel like it’s worth the time invested. They’ve gained traction against this massive opportunity by focusing initially on teams who use the Agile development methodology. Parabol has witnessed rapid bottoms-up adoption within organizations of all sizes, registering 100,000 users across more than 3,000 companies worldwide; they’ve even landed a $1.7M contract with the US Air Force. Teams at Accenture, AT&T, Etsy, GE, Nike, Slack, and Square all use Parabol to run their Agile meetings.

Parabol’s easy-to-use web application allows teams to quickly set up and run productive Agile meetings, including Retrospectives, Sprint Poker, and Check-in meetings. During a meeting, Parabol provides an interface for each participant to enter data and collaborate — including live presence indicators and synchronous editing — and guides the discussion. Integrations with tools like Jira and GitHub allow action items captured in the meeting to seamlessly fit into the team’s existing workflows. By eliminating the need to manually set up meetings or take notes, Parabol enables customers to halve the length of meetings and empowers scrum masters to double the number of teams they can support.

Parabol’s founders, led by CEO Jordan Husney, were strong believers in remote and distributed teams long before COVID-19 forced many of us to work from home. They started Parabol in 2015, with the vision that Agile development meetings for distributed teams could be not only reproduced virtually, but also improved, with software. Collectively, they have decades of experience building tools to empower remote teams, and have built Parabol as a fully-distributed team. When the pandemic forced many offices to close and countless teams to rethink the way they work, Parabol’s free product provided an important solution; they’ve experienced incredible growth as a result.

The company plans to use this funding to grow their team and accelerate product development to support all the other Agile meeting types, starting with the newly-launched Sprint Poker. Congratulations to Parabol on this fundraise, and welcome to the M12 portfolio. We look forward to your continued growth.

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Microsoft’s Venture Fund

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M12 - Microsoft’s Venture Fund

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M12 empowers entrepreneurs through investments, insight, and unparalleled access to Microsoft. https://m12.vc/

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