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Ex-Facebook employees’ startup logs in $17.5M from Index Ventures to add social collaboration to any app or product

While many web products are designed to be beautiful and intuitive, it can be challenging for companies to add rich, multi-user functionality without compromising on user experience or sacrificing resources that would otherwise go towards the core product. But in the aftermath of the pandemic, the necessity for a distributed team to be able to collaborate smoothly within a digital tool or product has become obvious and pressing.

London-based startup that helps tools and apps become more interactive, engaging and multiplayer, Cord has raised $17.5 million in funding – a validation of its vision to foster more digital collaboration and engagement, in line with the rise of remote working.

Index Ventures – which also backed collaboration-centric unicorns Figma and Notion – led the round. Other investors such as NFX and Stride participated, along with angel investors Elad Gil, Jeff Morris Jr, Charlie Songhurst, Guy Podjarni and Matt Robinson.

With the recent round of funding, the Cord team will make significant progress on their vision to connect all tools and websites with a unified collaboration and communication system so teams can be more effective, focused, and communicate in the right context.

Helping apps to become social and collaborative

The platform’s API – a single line of Javascript – unlocks a wealth of features for businesses wanting to make their apps and software more richly collaborative. Offering chat, presence, annotations, integrations with task managers and Slack, screen recordings, audio messages, live co-browsing and video chat, Cord saves companies years of development time, while adding a social dimension that helps them gain a competitive advantage over their peers.

Multiplayer experience

“Most web products will become a multiplayer experience in the coming years,” says Nimrod Priell, Cord’s CEO and co-founder. “We already see it happening: Figma reached 4 million users in four years and decimated Adobe, Invision and Sketch to become the dominant prototyping design app – in major part thanks to its built-in collaboration. If Figma is the ‘Google Docs of design,’ we empower every product to become the Google Docs of their respective industries.”

Cord was founded in 2020 by Priell, a former Facebook product manager, and Jackson Gabbard, an early Facebook engineer, who built some of Facebook’s formative features and worked on the internal suite of tools used by tens of thousands of employees. One ingredient in Cord’s success – and that of its customers and partners – is what it calls ‘team-led growth’: where users organically invite teammates from Slack, Google and Microsoft Teams to work together inside a tool or platform. This social aspect attracts more users into the product, and increases retention and engagement among those using the products integrating with Cord.

Typeform partnership

In a validation of its solution, the startup has also announced a partnership with Typeform, the leading web form and survey platform. As of today, Typeform’s 120,000 customers will be able to benefit from Cord’s collaborative features when they create forms filled out by more than 50 million people per month.

“Typeform customers have been asking for the ability to build forms together, and Cord was the perfect partner to make this happen,” says Tyze Whorton, Group Product Manager at Typeform. “With Cord, our collaboration experience is leaps ahead of what we could’ve built in house and gives us market-leading capabilities.”

Supports teams’ workflow

“The growth of remote working, combined with a proliferation of software-as-a-service tools, means that teams lose time moving back and forth between productivity and communications applications, such as Slack,” says Jan Hammer, Partner at Index Ventures. “Cord allows users to stay within the app that best supports their workflow but still get the benefits of collaboration. We like that Cord adds to existing apps – it’s not yet another solution customers will have to adopt, it’s a solution inside what they’re already used to. Eventually, we believe SaaS tools will ship with Cord straight out of the box.”