Envoy raises $43M to make the office digital

Steven Loeb · October 23, 2018 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4c72

The company automates the front desk, as well as package delivery, for companies like Slack and Nike

There's a lot of talk in recent years about whether or not, thanks to technology, the modern office will eventually become a thing of the past. Envoy, however, is a company that is taking the complete opposite view: it not only believes in the physical work space, but it is on a mission to modernize the modern office, by making everything digital.

It does this through its two products, the first being Envoy Visitors, which launched in September 2014, and which acts as a digital visitor management system that enables visitors to sign in via an iPad. Its second product, which launched in October 2017, is called Envoy Deliveries and it's a digital solution that helps manage packages and deliveries that arrive at the workplace.

On Tuesday, the company revealed in a blog post that it raised $43 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Menlo Ventures with participation from previous investors Initialized Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. The company last raised a $15 million Series A round of funding in 2015, and this round brings its total funding to $59.5 million.

The San Francisco-based Envoy modernizes multiple aspects of the office, including security, with unauthorized visitor alerts, real-time visitor monitoring and badges for identity verification, and privacy, which, with its Visitors product, allows people to no longer see the list of visitors who arrived before them.

It also helps companies with compliance, allowing them to maintain "meticulous visitor logs to meet industry compliance requirement," while offering paperless document signing and storage. Its clients can also automate day-to-day office management with a digital visitor log, arrival notifications, and delivery reminders.

"Envoy builds modern software solutions that make workplaces work better. To date, we have achieved this first through our Visitors product, a digital visitor management system that streamlines the front desk experience for guests, and later through our Deliveries product, which helps businesses manage packages and deliveries that arrive at the workplace," Larry Gadea, founder and CEO of Envoy, told VatorNews.

"Our solution focuses on building smart software that raises expectations of the workplace experience."

The typical customer for Envoy are "forward-thinking companies that value the experience of both visitors and employees alike," he told me. "Our biggest competitors are inexpensive pen and paper systems and companies maintaining their legacy in-house system."

Envoy is currently used in more than 10,000 workplaces around the world, 80 percent of which exist outside of the Bay Area, and in industries that range from technology to manufacturing facilities to entertainment studios to hospitals. 

Customers, which include Slack, Pinterest, Spotify, Nike, and American ExpressSlack, Pinterest, Spotify, Nike, and American Express, are able to save both time and money thanks to Envoy's automation of day-to-day office management processes. For example, Envoy Deliveries makes the package pickup process much more efficient, reducing the square footage allocated to received packages.

"We’ve seen customers use Envoy in other creative ways. For example, GoPro uses Envoy to send a coupon to guests after a visit to their office," said Gadea.

The new funding that Envoy has raised will go toward expanding the team, specifically in both product and engineering, as well as expanding into new products. 

"Building new products is hard, and especially products aimed at problems which aren’t necessarily top-of-mind for companies is a hard proposition. As such, we need to do significant research into product and iterate a ton. This ends up requiring a lot of product and engineering folks that need to be hired, which as it happens to be, are some of the most expensive roles to hire for in San Francisco," Gadea explained.

"We believe strongly in you-get-what-you-pay-for though, so we want the best, but that’s expensive. We’ll be focused on expanding into new products, while continuing to improve our Visitors and Deliveries products."

In addition to the funding news, it was also announced that Matt Murphy, partner at Menlo Ventures, and Andrew Chen, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, are joining the board of directors at Envoy.

"Matt Murphy is amazing at B2B and the fundamentals in growing a SaaS business. Andrew Chen is one of the top growth and consumer-behaviour folks out there. As we are a B2B2C company, these two together will be incredible in moving Envoy as fast as possible in challenging the status quo of workplace experience," said Gadea.

Ultimately, the goal with Envoy is to create a smart office, one that "can anticipate what you want and involves little to no thought process to get your work done."

"An office that gets out of your way. And we want to see this in every office everywhere. This can only be done with a focus on the workplace experience and making it as good, or as invisible, as possible. It’ll be tough, but we feel that given the massive and virally-growing user-base we have today, we are the company that’s best suited to figure it out and do it."

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