Germany-based Airfocus closed a $5 million Series A as it looks to help companies prioritize product and software development — something that has become more difficult as workforces go remote.
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Airfocus’ product management platform allows product teams to collaborate on strategic initiatives — something that has been a pain point for companies for years, and only worsened as the pandemic forced so many workforces to go remote, said co-founder and CEO Malte Scholz.
“We saw a massive increase last year,” Scholz said. “So much of product development used to be done on the white board, and with everybody being remote that was gone.”
While several work management platforms such as Jira and Asana allow teams to actually build together, Airfocus plays on the layer above — helping product teams manage and prioritize which features and enhancements to build.
“We are solving a very real problem for companies,” Scholz said. “Getting the product right is the hardest part for any company.”
Arnaud Baraer with XAnge said recent numbers from research firm Gartner show 50 percent of teams struggle to prioritize product development initiatives and 30 percent lack a process to capture feedback.
“We’ve looked at this space for years,” Baraer said. “We knew the pain point was high, but looking further into it the pain was even higher than expected.”
The 28-person company will use the new funding to add to its platform, ramp up marketing, and hire its first salespeople, Scholz said. The company sees about 40 percent to 50 percent of its revenue coming from the U.S., and could open an office there next year — possibly accompanied by a Series B led by an American investor, he added.
In the meantime, the company will battle with other startups in the space like San Francisco-based Productboard, Toronto-based Roadmunk and Menlo Park, California-based Aha. Scholz said he believes the company’s platform is more flexible and adaptable than any other in the market.
While Scholz acknowledged large companies like Atlassian continue to grow their product development line of offerings, he said he does believe the market exists for others.
“This is a massive market,” he said. “I believe it can create new multibillion-dollar companies.”
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.
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