by Larry Gadea ・ News & updates

Envoy: It’s getting crazy

So there was a time… about 3 years ago. I was “funemployed” post-Twitter and looking for my next thing to work on. It was a time when all I really did was wander around and talk to my friends who worked at different companies around San Francisco and the Valley. Though I had some fun and exciting conversations about what I was thinking of doing next, nothing really compelled me enough to actually get started building. What’s more, the more meetings I had, the more uninterested and annoyed I’d get. I wasn’t sure what it was, but all these visits seemed to make things worse. Which building am I supposed to go to? When did my friend want to meet again? Uh, where’s the reception staff? … And why are they towing my car?! Funemployment was anything but.

I thought to myself, “wow, what a way to greet a guest to your office…”. It really distracted me from my meetings about startup ideas.

… Oh shit! [sorry, i felt the emphasis was needed]

All these companies known for their user experience and design on their websites sure did a terrible job at their own office! There was so much low-hanging-fruit in making the meta process of visiting people at officeplaces much better. Pre-registration, host notification, easier NDA signing, painless photo capture — why wasn’t anyone working on fixing this?!

And so, Envoy began.

Before Envoy, literally nothing at the front desk existed to help make the situation better. Log books would be kept up front and visitors would sign in on paper — but often with illegible fake names and of course only after taking a quick peek at the day’s previous visitors (don’t worry about your privacy everyone…). Sometimes the receptionist would be there, but often times not, as they’d be gone looking for an employee who wasn’t at their desk and they had another guest waiting. This even created all sorts of security nightmares where visitors would just wander in, not knowing what to do next, and roam around the office looking for their friend. Yikes!

The solution was clear, and that’s what we went out to build.

Since its debut just over two years ago, Envoy’s iPad-based visitor management product has filled a void and taken off like wildfire. We have registered over 1,000,000 visitors at over 1,000 offices worldwide and now in 9 languages. Our customer base is growing 20% month-over-month and the demand is not stopping.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised $15 million from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz , and partner Chris Dixon will be joining me on the Envoy Board of Directors. The moment I met Chris (and in addition to being somewhat afraid of him), I knew his creative, non-traditional perspective on how to solve seemingly mundane problems would be an amazing asset to our team.

What’s most remarkable about this growth? It’s been almost exclusively word-of-mouth — and in a unique way. People visited offices in SF (where we took off initially), enjoyed and remembered their Envoy experience, and then brought it back with them to their company and city. What’s more, this grassroots process is still continuing today — beyond the San Francisco and the tech-based world — in a multitude of different industries. Gyms, schools, churches, law firms, advertising agencies, oil rigs, and even crane rental companies, are actively using Envoy for an efficient and truly welcoming experience.

In addition, we want all employees and their visitors to have efficient and enjoyable experiences, which is why we created the Envoy Employee iPhone app and built Envoy Pre-Registration. Envoy for Employees sends push notifications when visitors arrive and lets employees get contact information about coworkers in one place. Envoy Pre-Registration sends Wi-Fi passwords, parking locations, front door instructions, etc. to visitors in advance of their meetings. We’ll soon be introducing an even more effortless way to sign in. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be amazing. Think of it as TSA Pre-check, minus the massage.

All that said, we are about much more than just Visitor Registration. There are many other subpar interactions that people experience day-to-day at the officeplace, simply because nothing great exists out there. That’s why the money we have raised will be going almost exclusively into building the Envoy product ecosystem. We will continue to hire the best engineers and designers who are looking to build re-imagined products in a new, unique, and highly-disruptable category. Choosing Envoy for your company means you’re signing up for the latest and greatest products of the highest caliber.

We couldn’t be more excited for the future. And we somehow think your visitors would agree!

I want to thank all the early adopters and companies using Envoy to date. With your continued support, feature suggestions and bug reports, we’ll build an even more amazing experience.

— Larry Gadea Founder and CEO, Envoy [email protected]

PS. It turns out it was another company’s visitor parking.