London-based CaaS startup Unlock that builds culture among remote teams secures £1.5M funding

CaaS (Culture-as-a-Service) is a new, $300 billion sector, which attracts significant investor interest as both remote work and competition over the best talent continue to grow. This is where the London-based CaaS startup Unlock tackles a core part of this new battleground. The marketplace helps to build culture among remote teams.

Investors galore

Unlock just announced that it has secured a $2 million (nearly £1.5 million) seed funding round. The investment round was lead by La Famiglia with other investors including Kima Ventures, Antler, GuideStar Ventures and well-known angels Eduardo Ronzano, Thibaud Elziere, Frederic Montagnon, Julien Romanetto, Nicolas Steegmann, Philipp Moehring, Andy Chung, Ville Vesterinen and Deepali Nangia from Atomico Angel Network, Richard Faern, Ian Hathaway, Lu Li, co-founders of Personio and Foodora, VP Product at Malt and more.

Maria Wlosinska, Co-Founder and CEO of Unlock said: ““We’re in the midst of a culture shift. The companies we work with realise that in order to stay ahead in the talent war, they have to put a strong culture at the core, but that’s not always easy to do in practice. At Unlock, we know that with the right tools and content, gathering as a team online can be easy, engaging and really fun.”

Judith Dada, La Famiglia’s General Partner, said: “Given their remote team setup and expertise in the space of team culture, we felt Unlock had a unique insight to solving this challenge. Firstly, they bring individuals who are experts in driving meaningful team experiences (“hosts”) to the table, capturing tailwinds from the passion and creator economy. Secondly, they build a platform with features like game cards and on-screen tools that enables teams and hosts to take experiences beyond the limited functionality of meeting platforms like Zoom whose monotony causes fatigue and disengagement. Culture is not defined by a meeting, but by human connections and Unlock enables deeper team experiences purpose-built for connection and fun”.

Supports remote teams

Founded by Darshak Bhatt, Eli Rezinsky and Maria Wlosinska, Unlock gives workplaces an online venue packed with curated interactive experiences to end the struggle to build remote team cohesion. Already, it has 300+ purpose-built bite-size conversation starters and games, and 50+ curated experiences from virtual activity creators ranging from an origami lesson hosted from Tokyo to an interactive song writing session hosted by a professional band.

Also, companies can choose to get personalised cultural calendars consisting of a range of different activities every month. Its unique way of combining a flexible video venue with a marketplace of distinctive experiences has already attracted well-known companies to their customer base.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for employee engagement platforms, with companies keen to provide more support to remote workforces. Unlock doesn’t try to build a virtual office and recreate a physical environment online, but rather build a digital first experience that makes it easier to build healthy remote team cultural habits through meaningful and fun activities, whilst adding a new source of revenue for virtual event creators.