Polywork, a business-focused social community in non-public beta that emphasizes the work folks do over job titles, raises $13M Sequence A led by Andreessen Horowitz

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sequence horowitzkennedy siliconrepublic, Peter Johnston’s Polywork has closed a Sequence A spherical that attracted funding from huge names in Silicon Valley.

Enterprise-focused social community Polywork, based by Peter Johnston who’s initially from Carrickfergus, has closed a $13m Sequence A spherical led by Andreessen Horowitz (A16z).

Becoming a member of A16z was a star-studded listing of buyers together with Stripe founders John and Patrick Collison, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover and GitHub CEO Nat Friedman.

Current buyers Goldcrest Capital and Caffeinated Capital returned, and Bungalow Capital and 20VC had been among the many different individuals.

Based in 2020, a part of Polywork’s draw is its founder; Johnston is a Google alum who arrange freelancer-management software program outfit Kalo (beforehand referred to as Lystable) in 2015. The beginning-up graduated from Techstars within the UK, attracted repeated funding from Valar Ventures, and constructed a consumer base that included Google, Airbnb and The EconomistThrough the pandemic, nevertheless, Kalo struggled and Johnston made the choice to shutter it.

Polywork launched in beta in April of this 12 months and held a $3.5m seed spherical in Could. Observers and early customers have described it as a mix of LinkedIn and Twitter, and Johnston has made clear his need to compete with the Microsoft-owned skilled networking large.

Chatting with Sifted, he mentioned: “Our pitch to buyers was principally reframing what LinkedIn is attempting to do. Like, how helpful is a CV with an inventory of abilities, actually? To me it’s not about what abilities you have got, however about what you really do with them.

“Whenever you’re signalling to individuals who you’re, the first types of identification are job title, or the place you went to highschool — that are each fairly horrible proxies for who you really are and what you care about.”

Johnston has mentioned repeatedly in interviews and weblog posts that he feels persons are “greater than the labels society has positioned upon them, reminiscent of job titles”, and that he hopes Polywork can mix the private {and professional} in a manner different social networks can’t. Customers get a Twitter-style feed the place they’ll publish updates on their newest initiatives, and their abilities and pursuits may be displayed as tags or badges on their profiles. Posts may also be tagged, so you may filter an individual’s feed by one in all their areas of labor or curiosity.

Sriram Krishnan of A16z is becoming a member of the Polywork board following the funding.

“We first heard of Polywork earlier this 12 months and shortly after began seeing outstanding on-line personalities use it to inform their story. Whenever you hear buzz from on-line communities spanning tech, trend, music, and extra, you concentrate. And it shortly turned clear why Polywork was capturing all these imaginations,” Krishnan mentioned.

“Not solely was Polywork a stunning product, however the group was actually constructing a community designed to mirror the multifaceted nature of what we do as folks.”

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