As companies continue to delay their returns to the office and find temporary remote work policies becoming permanent, the startups building tooling for remote work-first cultures are finding a seemingly endless supply of customers.
"Companies are finding the shift to remote work is not a one-time aberration due to COVID," Almanac CEO Adam Nathan tells TechCrunch. "Over the past several months we’ve seen pretty explosive revenue growth."
Almanac, which builds a doc editor that takes feature cues like version control from developer platforms like GitHub, has been seizing on the shift to remote work, onboarding new customers through its open source office document library Core while pushing features that allow for easier onboarding like an online company handbook builder.
In the past couple years, timelines between funding rounds have been shrinking for fast-growing startups. Almanac announced its $9 million seed round last year led by Floodgate; now they're taking the wraps off of a $34 million Series A led by the pandemic's most prolific startup investment powerhouse -- Tiger Global. Floodgate again participated in the raise, alongside General Catalyst and a host of angels.
The company wants its collaborative doc editor to be the way more companies fully embrace online productivity software, leaving local-first document editors in the dust. While Alphabet's G Suite is a rising presence in the office productivity suite world, Microsoft Office is still the market's dominant force.
"We see ourselves as a generational challenger to Microsoft Office," Nathan says. "It’s not only an old product, but it’s totally outmoded for what we do to today."
While investors have backed plenty of startups based on pandemic-era trends that have already seemed to fizzle out, the growing shift away from office culture or even hybrid culture toward full remote work has only grown more apparent as employees place a premium on jobs with flexible remote policies.
Major tech companies like Facebook have found themselves gradually adjusting policies toward full-remote work for staff that can do their jobs remotely. Meanwhile, Apple's more aggressive return-to-office plan has prompted a rare outpouring of public and private criticism from employees at the company. Nathan only expects this divide to accelerate as more companies come tor grips with the shifting reality.
"I personally don’t believe that hybrid is a thing," he says. "You have to pick a side, you’re either office culture or ‘cloud culture.’ ”
Update: Almanac announced it had closed its seed in May 2020, not earlier this year as previously detailed.