Groopit, an early-stage startup from a 20-year Microsoft veteran, wants to help companies crowdsource data from information supplied by employees working in the field. Today, the company announced a $2 million pre-seed round led by Ascend.vc, with participation from a group of investors that includes Voyager Capital and Vulcan Capital. The startup has raised $3.1 million since inception, according to the company.
Groopit co-founder and CEO Tammy Savage says that when she was working at Microsoft she saw a problem around getting data to people where it was needed inside the organization. "What Groopit does is it combines data collection and real-time data sharing into one lightweight workflow. So it empowers everyone involved to understand a problem and tackle a problem," she said.
She likens it to Waze, the crowdsourced traffic app, where individuals on the road can report to a group of users what's happening in real time. Savage believes that giving teams this kind of insight from the field can be a real advantage to companies.
She uses retail customer Stuckey's as an example. It's a company that sells nut products in retail stores across the country. As sales people go into stores to check supplies, they can take a photo of the display, note the location inside the store and rate how the merchandise is being presented, all from an app on their phones. They can even capture competitor product data, including SKUs that appear to be selling faster than the company's product. All of this gives executives quick access to data, which they can then share in other tools like a CRM or a collaboration tool. It also has the added benefit of saving time in meetings because salespeople no longer have to give status reports.
Groopit web and mobile apps. Image Credits: Groopit
The product can be customized in a variety of ways to work for an individual business to gather the specific kinds of data it needs -- and it works across mobile and Web.
The company launched in 2018 after Savage left Microsoft. She worked on it for a couple of years before releasing the first version of the product at the end of 2020. The company has 18 employees at this point, and has no plans to hire additional people for the time being, but she says that as a female founder she understands the need for diversity inside her organization.
"We actually have more women working on this business than men right now. I think one of the things that happens is we just naturally see talent in different places. So we recruit and hire the people we do because we're looking in different places for the talent and...we just end up with a diverse team," she said.
Savage says that her experience working at Microsoft all those years really helped inform her experience creating Groopit. "A lot of my understanding of that challenge that leaders have is from my leadership years at Microsoft, plus a lot of research, but that experience was just crucial. It's what Groopit is really born out of -- a collision between my experience as a leader plus my experience doing software design," she said.