UK-based SaaS marketplace for remote team culture building Unlock has raised $2 million in seed funding. With VC money pouring into Europe at unprecedented rates, the Unlock team hopes to help companies that are waging the war for talent come out on top with unique and inspiring corporate culture-building services. According to CEO and co-founder Maria Wlosinska, the seed funding will be used to, "hire fantastic people, source and partner with the best virtual event creators around the world and build out our video venue so that we can continue to scale our customer base and provide a great and engaging experience for our users."
Let’s face it, there’s more to a job than just the job, A myriad of factors come into play, and companies that can get it “right” stand a far better chance of not only attracting but retaining the top talent that will help them succeed. In the “old world,” this challenge was tricky enough. Now toss in the hybrid, remote working model, and the HR department’s headaches just multiplied.
Where unlock steps into the ring is with a curated marketplace chock full o’ interactive experiences that aim to unify teams, no matter where their location(s). In lieu of building a virtual office experience, one that seeks to recreate a physical office experience, Unlock is looking at the truth of the matter and addressing virtual head-on.
At present, the startup offers over 300 snackable conversation starters and games, and 50+ virtual activity experiences ranging from origami lessons hosted in Tokyo to an interactive songwriting session with a group of professional musicians. Oh let the karaoke sessions begin!
“By providing the cultural infrastructure for companies, they don’t have to spend hours researching and managing how to drive culture in their teams,” Wlosinska. “We make sure there is enough content variability within our platform and the experiences on Unlock are curated to feel refreshing and inspiring for teams to come back regularly.”
Unlock’s seed round was led by La Famiglia and saw participation from Kima Ventures, Antler, GuideStar Ventures, as well as angel investors including Eduardo Ronzano, Folk CEO Thibaud Elziere, Frederic Montagnon, Julien Romanetto, Nicolas Steegmann, Philipp Moehring, Andy Chung, Ville Vesterinen and Deepali Nangia from Atomico Angel Network, Richard Fearn, Ian Hathaway, Lu Li, and additional undisclosed investors.
“Given their remote team setup and expertise in the space of team culture, we felt Unlock had a unique insight to solving this challenge,” comments La Famiglia’s Judith Dada. “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.”