$111M to help build community in the workplace
I’m going to get straight to it: the team and I are excited to announce that we’ve just closed our Series C fundraising, receiving $111M in growth capital and valuing the company at $1.4B. This strategic investment is being led by Brookfield Growth, the growth investing arm of Brookfield, one of the world’s largest real estate owners, operators and investors. Following on are new investors BAM Elevate, Seven Seven Six, TriplePoint Capital, Elad Gil and others. Plus I want to incredibly thank many of our existing investors for doubling down, including: Menlo Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Initialized Capital and Haystack. I know some of them literally ended up using management fees from their 2013 or 2015 funds to make the re-ups happen and I absolutely thank them for continuing to be supportive for so long. 🙏
Despite all the lockdowns, social distancing, mask mandates, vaccination and testing requirements, “all remote,” the “great resignation,” Omicron and whatever else COVID and its downstream effects keep throwing at us, growth at Envoy has never been stronger. It’s because businesses are relentless about returning and they need all the help they can get to rebuild community. Pre-pandemic, one of the top reasons for someone to stick around at a company was because they loved the people. It’s much harder to say now, given the minimal amount of quality social interaction that’s happening between people when fully remote. The workplace inherently brings people together and reminds them of purpose outside of just themselves and their own desires. It allows companies to unify folks under a common mission, vision and culture. This not only leads to more engaged employees, but much more effective companies. Hybrid or full-time, it doesn’t matter, companies will do whatever it takes to get people back and they need help.
Product evolution in a pandemic
The pandemic had us change a lot. Though we’re still building towards the same Workplace Platform, things had to get pulled in or changed dramatically. Our Visitors product had to be made fully “touchless” and more employee-centric. Companies wouldn’t use it for NDAs as much anymore, but rather to leverage the pre-registration functionality to collect health survey questions like “Have you had COVID in the last 14 days?” and, more recently, functionality around hard-to-make-easy things like vaccination/testing tracking. Additionally, we repurposed many of our door-access integrations to disallow people from entering their workplace unless they passed the safety screening. This flow was expanded by new functionality around desking to keep people as far from each other as possible during the beginning of the pandemic. This eventually turned into Envoy Desks, as we noticed the functionality we were adding was starting to actually become competitive with existing market leaders in that space!
I always knew our company had the DNA to build non-stop, but it was wonderful to see it in full action, even during such an unexpected time as a global pandemic. Don’t be fooled though, we’d be nothing were it not for our customers’ help throughout all this. They stuck around, they expanded offices and worked with us through beta periods of multiple products as COVID evolved. Though they didn’t have nearly the same volume of people on-site as before, it was more critical to keep track of everyone in and out of their facilities for those that did need to be there. Many of our 7,000+ customers are essential services, have physical equipment that requires in-person operation, or they just needed to provide space for employees who had non-ideal working conditions at home.
Today, employees are returning to workplaces and are using our new hybrid work-focused products like Desks and Rooms to book spaces for groups of people and on specific days. They’re accessing this all on the new Envoy Mobile app where anyone in the company can see an office map and can learn more about the people and space around them. And they can have peace of mind that they’re in a safe environment as Envoy Mobile makes COVID vaccination and testing tracking a breeze. Again, these are all new products we built and launched DURING the pandemic, now being used by about 170,000 people every day (up from zero 18 months ago!) to access their workplace.
Whether the pandemic keeps going on or not, it doesn’t matter, we won’t stop. This is our promise to our customers and end-users. By using our products within your workplaces you’re investing in the future of work. We get excited by trying new things to make the workplace much more thoughtful about the people inside of it. And this includes our own workplaces. At Envoy, we use all the products we make available to the world — this is why you can trust us. We sweat the details and always put experience first.
The workplace platform
There’s so much more to a workplace than people showing up and working. And though we’ve built some great products around visitors, deliveries, meeting rooms, desks, and safety throughout, this is only the beginning. Hybrid work, or the concept of someone being in only a few days a week, brings a lot of logistical complexities that require coordination. In the past we saw meeting rooms shared; one set of people used them for a time, and another set of people for another. With Envoy Desks this has expanded to desking. It wouldn’t make sense to assign a full-time desk to someone that’s only in 1-2 days a week. The same goes for parking, lunch, lockers, door access and so much more around the office.
We’re not going to build everything. There are companies out there who have a lot more experience than we do in specific product areas. We don’t build hardware, deliver food, do on-site cleaning or change light bulbs. But as we keep building out the workplace platform, there will be more and more endpoints for 3rd party developers to create their own innovations on top of the platform. Envoy will provide things like office mapping, permissions systems, physical locality of people, identity systems, access to the mobile app, app marketplace visibility and more. This lets developers bring their innovations without having to rebuild common enterprise components.
And hey, if you’re out of desks or meeting rooms or parking spots, there’ll be a marketplace where employees can go and see free spaces in the building. They could be available and not even on your company’s floor. A local co-working space could have some extra meeting rooms. Better yet, another Envoy customer may have excess space that they want to make available to others. This is the future we see, where every workplace is your workplace. Where anybody can work from anywhere.
Put together, this is why the partnership with Brookfield is so important and exciting for all involved. Their experience and access will make it so we can learn and deploy into multi-tenant buildings all around the world. And together, we’ll create a standard that any building can partake in. By unifying all tenants in a building into one community, new possibilities open up around sharing spaces, co-attending events within the building, having a building-wide for-sale list or lost-and-found, and yes, being able to guarantee you have that parking spot when you get in.
The future is really bright for the workplace. As people continue to return, they’ll come back to a new version of their workplace — one that’s much more thoughtful about the people inside. Workplaces need to prove themselves again. And we as Envoy are here to help the safe return and the exciting future ahead.
Founder and CEO, Envoy
PS: We’re hiring engineers! Please apply to join us if you’re excited about building the future of workplaces!