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Welcoming Polly to the Madrona Family
AUTHORS: Sudip Chakrabarti and

Today, we are thrilled to announce our Series A investment in Polly, a company we believe is going to significantly impact how enterprises get work done and measure success.  We led this $7 million round and were joined with the existing seed investors Amplify Partners, Fathom Capital, and the Slack Fund.

We have known Samir and Bilal, the co-founders of Polly, since the 2016 Seattle TechStars class, when we had them into our offices to give a practice demo run.  We were excited about them then and have followed the progress as the company has graduated from delivering chatbots into the rich world of enterprise collaboration. Samir and Bilal have built a great team here in Seattle and they are passionate about delivering a quality experience to their customers – these customers, from individual developers to large enterprises are focused on being more successful and understanding their workflows better.  Polly’s success over the last year has been impressive and we are excited that they have decided to partner with us for the journey ahead.

Our investment in Polly follows from our core thesis that, enterprise workflows, for the most part, will move away from legacy systems and email to modern online collaborations platforms like Slack, Teams and Mattermost. While these platforms started their lives as messaging tools, they now have the opportunity to become the “operating system” for modern enterprise workflows. That is already happening. Forward-looking organizations are creating Slack teams whose mandate is to adopt and/or build applications to enable enterprise workflows on Slack.

This is driven by the following.

First, due to technology and societal changes, the nature of engagement between an enterprise and its key constituents (customers, employees and other stakeholders) is becoming more open, bi-directional and frequent.

Second, decision-making in a modern enterprise is becoming far more decentralized. Employees at every level are empowered to directly collect and analyze data in order to make decisions and be far more responsive than it was ever possible before.

Third, as a result, the collaboration tools are where enterprise work happens. We are already seeing early evidence of that with workflows such as IT support, employee on-boarding, site reliability engineering, cyber security operations, etc. moving to Slack/Teams and multiple startups building specific products for each.

As enterprise workflows move to collaboration tools, measuring the effectiveness of those workflows — so that those could be analyzed and further improved — becomes critically important. That is exactly what Polly enables. Polly enables organizations to collect and understand feedback from key constituents so that enterprises can measure and optimize their workflows and thereby, deliver a much better experience.

The early signs have been extremely encouraging! The adoption of the free Polly product, which enables simple surveys within Slack and Teams, has grown consistently over the last couple of years and Polly tripled their user base in 2018. More interestingly, the team has seen incredible ramps in use at large enterprises and the adoption of Polly’s Enterprise product just since launch in in the fall of 2018 has been very strong.  The company already has hundreds of paying enterprise customers with many others in the pipeline. The combination of the rapid organic adoption of the free product, strong inbound demand of its enterprise product and a team passionate about helping their customers, fuels our belief that Polly is poised to become the go to product for modern enterprises.

We are excited and buckled up for the fun ride ahead!

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