• Sessions, the Bucharest-based communications and collaboration platform for customer-focused teams, raised an impressive $4.5 million seed round from Earlybird Digital East Fund, London-based Stride.VC, and Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures.
• So far, Sessions has won Product Hunt’s 2021 Work from Anywhere Product of the Year and helped 2,000 marketing, sales, and customer success teams to level up their video conferencing game.
• With the new capital, the team aims to consolidate their product-market fit, accelerate product development, and expand the team.
Sessions was founded in 2020, on the verge of a swift transition in work environments towards remote and hybrid. Both founders bring extensive entrepreneurial experience – among others, CEO Radu Negulescu founded Trencadis, a Romanian company developing IT solutions for governmental institutions and businesses, while Chief Product Officer Radu Tintescu launched Webmarc, a technology company that transforms ideas into end-to-end digital experiences.
One year after founding, Sessions was recognized by Product Hunt as the best product to facilitate “work from anywhere”, a distinction that spoke to the company’s user-centric strategy.
Going further, the company aims to consolidate their product-market fit, learn more about customer needs, accelerate product development, and hire even more talented team members.
“Building a hyper-growth startup that challenges a global market without the right partners is impossible. More important than the funds, for us was crucial to find an investment team that has total confidence in our vision, a group to stand by our side for the entire journey,” founder and CEO Radu Negulescu shares with the Recursive.
“Sessions offers a unified platform that can efficiently address these needs (Ed.note complex video conferencing and collaboration needs) while providing an engaging experience. Their unique mechanic allows companies to digitally engage with their customers in fluid, meaningful interactions no matter the complexity,” says Dan Lupu, partner at Earlybird Digital East Fund.
“We are excited to support the new approach to communications developed by Sessions. We believe in the team with ambition, a proven years-long track record, and a product equipped to change the space,” Todor Breshkov, Managing Partner, LAUNCHub Ventures adds.
Starting from the problem: substandard video meeting tools in a remote-first world
Today, a great part of customer-facing interactions takes place online. Think of demos, sales, and even large conferences. The pandemic has further shifted work to a predominantly remote environment. Many teams had to face the sudden demand of collaborating in virtual settings. But the tools we use for video conferencing are not made for the complex needs of teams working together, especially when we are talking about startups and scaleups.
“Given the challenges of the past two years, the video conferencing and collaboration needs of companies have grown (and evolved) tremendously, but the tools have remained virtually the same. This has created a huge gap between teams and technology, and we’re ready to fill this gap,” Radu explains.
You’ve probably experienced the difficulties of organizing work in an online environment, too. You use one app to book a time slot, one to create presentations, another to share information, and yet another to run meetings. The experience becomes fragmented and overwhelming, information gets lost, and work slows down.
What if you could bring them together in one place? Sessions integrates workflows, apps, information, and actions into a single platform. You can use the platform for anything from sales pitches, to product demos, user research, webinars, training, and onboarding. You can further share and collaborate in productivity apps such as Google Drive and Miro from the same workplace.
“We’ve looked at the entire video conferencing experience (from booking time slots, running meetings, sharing information, and follow-up), and we’ve decided to take it back to the drawing board and improve it. We’ve designed a seamless workflow that takes place on a single platform – a welcome improvement that meets the needs of both organizations and their customers,” Radu Negulescu shares.
As a result, a fragmented experience becomes a streamlined, interactive, and energetic one that boosts productivity and engagement.
To improve the product, the team uses a customer development approach, focusing on customers’ needs and how best to meet them. “Our community has played a pivotal role in supporting and keeping us focused and on the right track. They share their thoughts and ideas with us as soon as they feel there is something we could improve or a new feature we need to implement. In this way, we get to create a user-first product that solves real problems and makes the lives of professional teams easier,” Radu reflects.
The future of work is defined by technology innovation
Next, The Recursive and Radu Negulescu talked a bit more about the future that Sessions envisions.
The Recursive: Where will Sessions be in 5 years from now?
Radu Negulescu: We started this journey to solve the massive problem of extreme fragmentation and useless complexity in companies’ day-to-day communication and collaboration in the remote context.
In 5 years, we aim to evolve the product and help companies operate more efficiently in real-time activities.
For now, we cover Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success use-cases, but in 5 years, Sessions will cover all departmental needs of an organization.
From remote work, through automation, a 4-day working week, to DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), how do you imagine the future of work?
Hybrid or fully remote, without any doubt, the future of work is in the cloud, and it will be powered by technologies that ease the way we communicate and collaborate. Technologies that will help us skyrocket our productivity and efficiency.
And with this, for sure, the winning organizations of the future will be human-centered – flexible by default and focused on teams’ well-being.
Sessions’ long-term vision is to be a major player in sustaining this future.
If you could change one thing in the Romanian entrepreneurship ecosystem that would have an outsized positive impact starting tomorrow, what would that be?
Empowering entrepreneurs to think globally from day one.
We’re in a proper context at the moment. Romania has good foundations, and we have everything we need to build relevant companies on a global scale, but we’re still not dreaming big enough.
We need to start thinking beyond the borders of our country; we need to think bigger than just Europe. Recent history has proved that good products built by outstanding teams and backed by the right partners can conquer the global market. Romanian-started companies like UiPath, Bitdefender, SuperBet, or, more recently, FintechOS or DRUID stand as excellent proof.