As a result, there is a new, insatiable demand for products and services that support remote office work. Big companies are eyeing acquisitions of up-and-coming software developers. Take a look at the giant check ($27.7 billion) Salesforce Inc. cut to purchase workplace chat app Slack Technologies last week. There’s a seemingly never-ending sea of potential that remains untapped for burgeoning startups.
Among those throwing their hats into the ring is two-year-old Loop Team, a new entrant into the enterprise communications sphere that, with already $4.75 million in backing, appears to be gaining momentum in a moment particularly equipped to facilitate just that.
Loop Team is a company founded by a trio of former entrepreneurs: Raj Singh, who serves as CEO; Rolf Rando, the chief architect; and Jag Srawan, chief technology officer. Speaking of Salesforce, one of Singh’s previous ventures, Tempo AI, was acquired by the customs relations powerhouse. That’s actually when the idea came about for Loop Team.
“After our acquisition by Salesforce, and after I had left, I would periodically check in with my former remote teammates,” wrote Singh in a Dec. 2 blog post. “They expressed that they were feeling ‘out of the loop,’ having to travel to a Salesforce office monthly to feel connected to their new team.”
At Tempo, the disconnectedness was remedied through temporary but creative fixes: a 24/7 video Hangout at the office that remote employees could join to feel part of the team. “Although there was some angst initially in joining a video watercooler during the workday, team members grew to love it,” wrote Singh, but eventually Singh, along with Rando and Srawan, realized that there was a bigger problem at play — and a bigger solution. “Recognizing that there must be a better way to make teams feel more connected, my co-founders and I started Loop Team,” he said.
Loop Team’s goal has been to try and recreate the office experience (or at least the positive parts of it) using artificial intelligence (AI), presence awareness, and other technology. The main feature is an interface through which your team members can keep track of what you’re working on, and you them. “Just as you would wander down the hall and see your colleague on the phone or deeply involved with work on the laptop, and know to leave them be, you could get that same feel with Loop,” Tech Crunch explains in a recent profile of the company. The platform shows the current status of your coworkers, so you can see when you should and shouldn’t chat, and provides spaces for virtual discussions. Like in Slack, you can also set up private chat rooms, with video and audio available. Also, there’s a share screen function for working on projects and a unique layout that allows you to easily rank and file your priorities for the day.
Another interesting facet of Loop Team is how it was developed. Like the experienced entrepreneurs they are, the startup’s co-founders designed their product directly around their customers, drawing from “hundreds” of user interviews with remote workers, “volumes” of research and swaths of survey data from distributed teams. “Even alongside heavyweights such as Slack and Zoom, data shows significant pains with remote working including a lack of: casual interaction, reduced communication and increased feelings of loneliness,” explained Singh. Loop Team believes it’s developed a solution to these unique remote working challenges through easy, simple, real-time communication.
Founded before the pandemic, the era of COVID-19 and its anticipated aftermath have made products like Loop’s more critical than ever before. The company officially released its (first) product this month. After a stint in the prestigious Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Loop Team has raised nearly $5 million to date, the company told Tech Crunch. According to its website, its investors include SRI International, Crosslink Capital, Eniac Ventures, Gravity Ranch, Golden Ventures, Hack VC, Parade Ventures, Precursor Ventures, and Redpoint, which mostly focus on funding early-stage ventures.
Depending on the product's reception, this could be the beginning of a strong upward trajectory for Loop Team. It appears to have everything it needs to succeed: enthusiastic founders with a proven track record of success, good timing, and strong financial backing. We’ll have to see what the future holds.
About the Author
Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.