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 Blog

Samir Diwan - February 13, 2019 - 4 Min Read

Announcing Polly’s $7M Series A led by Madrona Venture Group. Here’s how we’re investing that back into you.

2019 is going to be a huge year for Polly users.  We’ve spent the past four years of this company almost exclusively focused on building a valuable product. Our objective has always been to listen to our users, and building a compelling product based off their feedback. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we’re going to continue doing, but at a faster pace.

Today, we’re announcing our Series A investment led by Sudip Chakrabarti from Madrona Venture Group, with participation from existing investors Amplify Partners, Fathom Capital, Slack Fund, Tempo Ventures and others. Over the next year, we’ll be putting this capital to work by improving and expanding upon our existing product and double our headcount to support our growing tens of thousands of teams using Polly every month. Here are a few of the things we’re working on bringing to life this year.

 

Doubling down on feedback-based workflows

 In Fall of 2018, we launched feedback-based workflows in response to the shifting needs of the modern workspace depending on processes and workflows to live inside of Slack. We saw you pulling every aspect of your work into Slack, including your data, applications, and internal tools. You started building out new workflows, and increasingly moved entire processes into Slack. This brought you better transparency, alignment, and connectivity.

Likewise, you came to expect the same from Polly. Traditionally, gathering feedback has been a completely disconnected experience – users fill out surveys with little to no context, and the feedback is gathered at only one point in time. With Polly’s feedback workflows, we made it possible to continuously gather feedback, or measure a process, simply by connecting Polly to your data and tools. And your response to our launch of feedback-based workflows has been overwhelmingly positive.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to use this part of the product just yet – a feedback workflow is when a Polly survey is connected to a trigger from an event within Slack or within one of your tools, allowing you to continuously gather data and feedback on a process within your organization.

We’ve had companies like Pure Storage connect Polly to their IT Service Desk, which triggers a customer satisfaction survey in Slack every time a ticket closes. Large enterprises have adopted Polly workflows to trigger a 7, 30, and 90-day check-in with employees every time a new hire joins the team. We’ve also had Fortune 500 companies trigger a peer evaluation survey every time a customer support ticket is handed off.

We’re only just getting started here, and in 2019 you’ll see more robust functionality added to our feedback workflow capability. To us, this is what the evolution of a survey looks like – it’s more connected, more relevant, and continuous, all while making it easy for users to share feedback in Slack.

 

Enabling Polly to connect to best-in-class tools through 3rd party integrations

Part of building a connected survey experience means partnering with some of the best solutions that have already been built. Over the next few months we’re going to be rolling out integrations across a variety of functional categories:

  • IT solutions like Jira Service Desk, ServiceNow, and OpsGenie
  • Data applications like Google Sheets, Office365, and Smartsheet
  • Automation tools like Zapier and Microsoft Flow
  • Identity solutions like Okta, Active Directory, and Workday
  • Engineering apps like Jira and GitHub

With these integrations, you’ll be able to trigger surveys and create feedback workflows every time a sprint closes in Jira, when a new employee is added in Workday, or when an IT ticket closes in ServiceNow, and have all of that data sent over to your own dashboards in real-time, or updated in a Google Sheet.

These are just some of the requests we’ve seen time and time again from you, and in 2019 we’ll be shipping these integrations so you can connect most valuable tools with Polly hassle-free.

 

Significantly improving our polling and survey experience 

To live and thrive in Slack, we have an obligation to extend Slack’s mission, but in our own way – to make the act of giving and gathering feedback simpler, more pleasant and more productive.

Our core experience – a poll – is what this company is named after. And it’s the foundation that every larger experience in our product is built upon. As we scale to offer solutions to larger companies, we’ll continue to put emphasis on expanding and improving our core free experience.  Slack and Microsoft Teams’ interface will continue to evolve, and we will continue to optimize the core experience on those platforms so that giving and collecting feedback remains ridiculously easy.

For some of our more advanced users that run longer, more complex surveys – we already have best-in-class surveys that see 30-40% higher response rates than email or web-based surveys. But we’re going to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in Slack, and significantly improve our survey experience for survey takers and administrators. Our goal isn’t to just build a survey tool that works well in Slack, but to become the world-class tool you can depend on for all your feedback needs.

 

Investing in Security, Privacy, and Administrative Control for large organizations

In 2018 we invested heavily in security and privacy – we became GDPR compliant on day 1, hired security firms to conduct external pen-tests, and put in protocols and systems in place to ensure our customers’ data remains secure. We also built out controls for some of our larger enterprise customers, giving them the ability to control their data, and to better control how their organizations can use Polly.

But we need to do more.  In 2019 you’ll see an even stronger emphasis on security and privacy, starting with SOC 2 certification by the end of the year. Being the first Slack-built company, and the first app on the Microsoft Teams platform, we understand both the platform’s and the your ever-changing needs better than anyone. To continue to push the ecosystem forward, we plan on opening up our playbook and sharing our best-in-class security practices within these platforms.

 

The future is bright, and we wouldn’t be here without you 

We’re excited to continue to reinvent and redefine how modern teams get their work done alongside Slack and Microsoft Teams, and we’re bullish on the future of work collaboration that’s becoming increasingly more connected.

And to you, our Polly customers, we’re thankful that you’ve been a part of this journey from day 1 — we wouldn’t be where we are without your support. Even as the product and the team scales, we’ll still be laser-focused on building a product that brings joy and value to your work life.

Written by Samir Diwan

Thrives in chaos. Canadian. Wants to be an astronaut when he grows up.