Software companies have illuminated a trend that’s been on the rise for more than a decade — an engaged community of users and evangelists is one of the most powerful assets a creator or business of any size can cultivate. People who love a particular product are the best marketers of that product and are often key to enabling adoption of new users, driving sales, and creating a strong feedback loop between customers and the business.
With the many SaaS companies we’ve seen scale rapidly in recent years, users have hacked together horizontal platforms like Discord, Reddit, and Facebook to connect with one another. These online spaces play a pivotal role in customer education and support, professional development, and a product’s go-to-market strategy. However, Tribe, for example, empowers businesses of all sizes to directly interact with their most engaged users through a customizable, white-label platform.
Building and cultivating user communities is quickly becoming one of the most powerful assets for any business. Among fast-growing businesses, we see community as a competitive moat for engaging and delighting customers that cannot be easily replicated. We’re enthusiastic about Tribe’s mission to provide the infrastructure for community, which is why we are co-leading their $7.5 million seed round.
Co-founded by CEO Siavash Mahmoudian, the Toronto-based company is building a platform that enables both individuals and enterprises to spin up community sites for their fans, customers, or any relevant stakeholder. Believing that any business should be able to build and own its community experience in a few clicks, Siavash and the Tribe team are developing intuitive solutions to help individuals and enterprises spin up a flexible and highly customizable platform for communities. With enterprise customers like IBM, ASUS, Pipedrive, Tim Hortons Foundation, Ada Support, and Prudential Financial, Tribe has grown 400% year-over-year from 2019 to 2020.
Today, there are approximately 12 million Facebook groups with more than 20,000 members and over 19 million servers on Discord. These statistics alone point to the enormous opportunity Tribe has ahead of it. We first met Siavash over a Zoom meeting in the midst of the pandemic last summer. Siavash is the embodiment of a product-centric founder with a passion for community that transcended the boundaries of our remote meetings. His vision for bringing community to all corners of the internet resonated deeply with us and we continue to see much excitement from our own portfolio around the promise of Tribe for their customers.
With the blockbuster successes of Shopify in e-commerce, Twilio in communication-as-a-service, and Intercom in customer support, at Bessemer we’ve seen first-hand how software changes the way people work and businesses operate in the digital economy. We’re confident Tribe will play a pivotal role in community-building across geographies and industries. Not only will businesses have a closer connection to their users, but people will also benefit from the collective wisdom shared in these spaces. This more community-oriented future can’t arrive soon enough.