Why we invested in Threado — the Command Centre for the Community
21st-century SaaS is an evolved engine with companies adopting and defining multiple playbooks that garner success for them in their own way. It is, therefore, only natural, that trends and patterns begin to emerge in the way companies craft their GTM strategies- the two most popular of which are the age-old SLG (Sales-Led-Growth) and the new-found PLG (Product-Led-Growth). These are strategies that companies use as primary levers to drive the growth of their business.
As SaaS started to gain momentum with intense competition across all verticals, customers developed higher expectations for new products. Customers who were once content with a good product now expect a product that is also easy to use (self-serve). This shift in mentality has triggered a change towards PLG, and we’re seeing more and more companies incorporate a balanced motion (PLG + SLG) into their processes to achieve greater success. Assuming the companies had a working GTM strategy in place, the next rational step is to multiply its success. That’s where CLG (Community-Led-Growth) comes in — a new way of thinking about customer development by listening to customers and building products that they want. Before you deem it as just another buzzword, it’s important to note that companies like Salesforce, UI Path, etc., have achieved great success by placing the community at the center of their GTM strategy. The concept of community is age-old and proven. But why the sudden shift and focus now?
Competition is fierce. In order to stand out, you must offer something unique to your users. Building a community around your product can do just that by multiplying the effects of PLG + SLG by CLG — emphasis on CLG has turned their users into fans who not only give valuable feedback but also act as loyal advocates for the brand. These signs are loud and clear that Community-Led-Growth is the future of SaaS, and that every company is now looking to invest in building one of value.
Data shows that 95% of companies at Series B+ have a dedicated community team. The number of Series B+ companies building communities has increased from 33% (2020) to a mammoth 80% (2022).
There are many ways to build and manage a great community. Contrary to popular belief, neither the scale of your user base nor the size of your company matters. In fact, with community managers having to handle a plethora of initiatives like events, email newsletters, and online forums (Slack, Discourse), there are very few parallels one can draw from an approach that has garnered success for another company. The truth is that communities are inherently subjective, and there are no guaranteed playbooks to rely on. So, the ideal approach is to figure out what works for your own audience. While tools like Slack Discord and Discourse can be invaluable to connect with your users and gather feedback, managing them simultaneously is a rather complex and laborious endeavor. Siloed data split across platforms makes it difficult to glean any meaningful insights. There is no easy way to measure engagement and impact on your community — which ultimately leads to inconsistent end-user experience and loss of engagement.
71% of communities have a dedicated community manager, and that has dramatically increased to 88%
When we met Pramod with this hypothesis, we were excited about the opportunity to partner with Threado right from our first meeting. Speciale Invest had been looking for product builders with a vision for how this space would evolve over the next decade. Pramod’s stellar track record of building, branding and scaling at Zomato (Ex-VP of Marketing) — where he helped build and scale Zomato’s content and community-driven approach to growth — combined with Abhishek’s strong engineering (Product Development) and entrepreneurial acumen makes them the perfect partners. It was clear from Pramod’s industry insights that he wasn’t just solving a big problem, but had the leadership know-how and talent magnetism to make it happen
That’s why today we are delighted to announce Threado’s $3.1M Seed funding round — led by Vertex Ventures with our participation combined with our VCs friends — Gemba Capital and PointOne Capital are joined by marquee angels from the product & community ecosystem.
Threado addresses this need with a single command centre platform that connects with engagement platforms like Slack, Discord, and other tools to help community managers measure and segment member engagement across multiple channels. It also helps you manage and activate members with recommendations to drive engagement, insights on the engagement activity, and helps automate recurring workflow tasks of community and marketing teams. This helps companies grow their communities by marrying data with the various conversations and activities happening within communities.
Despite being in private beta until today, the Threado team has made tremendous progress, closing notable customers like Glide, OnDeck, , Rocketlane, Scaler, and a few more that relying on the community to power their product — who all share some common traits — products and communities in the hyper-growth mode that are seeing a tremendous scale in their customers and communities.
As investors, we love to see founders who have a deep understanding of the problems their customers face. This understanding allows them to translate that into products that customers love — and then refine those products over time by listening to feedback from both their customers and the market. That’s exactly what’s happening here: since completing its initial product development and customer discovery phase in the last few quarters, Threado has scaled the business quickly with significant commercial interest and several key hires. Great teams build great companies!
This seed funding will be used to build world-class go-to-market, engineering, and product teams to capitalize on the momentum the team has already built and reinvent the community-led growth market. We believe that the Threado team are early on in their journey to building a disruptive and enduring company.