Three-year old software startup awork is setting out its stall at the intersect of hybrid working and the creative industries.
With 17,000 user accounts on its platform, the Hamburg startup says it has 2,200 corporate customers and expects to hit 4,000 corporates before year end.
Now awork is announcing a €5 million series A round to support this business growth, provided by a major central European CVC in the form of Swiss Post Ventures, together with the European B2B investor Hi Inov-Dentressangle.
It's common knowledge the pandemic changed working patterns, leading to a plethora of remote working tools and new ways of doing business.
Stalwarts of hybrid workplaces like Slack and Microsoft Teams arguably have generalised team UX cornered, leaving the latest startups to garner revenue by serving modern workers in specific industries.
awork's fundraise is at least the third specialised collaboration UX that Tech.eu has tracked this winter. It follows on the heels of a $3.5 million pre-series A for UK-based StructureFlow, which aims to make corporate transactions collaborative, as well as an early deal tracked for Flow Engineering's hardware engineering software tool.
Each industry has its own pain points for software engineers to cater to. In awork's case, creative projects require strong project management functions and workflows to supplant the traditional Excel worksheet. A good UX will encourage creative colleagues to buy into the big picture while fostering team-wide soundboarding across designs, deadlines and budgets.
With its heavily graphic-based interfaces, in some ways awork's submission treads similar ground to earlier time management apps on smartphones.
The likes of Todoist and Remember the Milk on Android sought to encourage highly visualised prioritisation of personal goals, and it figures that the creative industries will reward a similarly creative approach.
Commenting from Hi-Inov's perspective on the deal, investment partner Wolfgang Krause said: "awork has developed a smart tool that contributes significantly to solving fundamental problems in digital collaboration. In the next few years, the work management tools market is expected to grow tremendously.
"awork is growing where teams will be looking for tools in the future, and thus much faster than the rest of the industry. We have recognised this potential and look forward to driving further growth together."
aWork's Hagenau added: "The funding round comes at a key moment - not only in our development at awork, but also in the development of the world of work.
"The new-work revolution is everywhere and teams finally want to collaborate happily digitally. I think we're on the right track to turn the entire work management landscape upside down,"