During the pandemic, as businesses went online, spinach.io co-founder and CEO Matan Talmi noted that technical teams had more specific needs for online meetings than other teams. At about the same time, he noted that Zoom was releasing Zoom Apps to help developers build meeting-centric applications on top of the Zoom platform.
He and his co-founders decided to build a meeting tool specifically designed for engineers using agile methodology to conduct stand-up meetings online. They wanted to bring a level of automation to the stand-up by integrating with Slack, Jira, and other tools engineers use to track their projects, and they started building the product last year. Today, the startup announced a $6 million seed, a combination of funding it has received since its launch in 2021.
“What we were trying to do here is really solve a very specific use case for engineering teams following the Scrum Agile development process. They have unique meetings and workflows around those development sprints and need specific experiences to deliver real valuable value,” Talmi told londonbusinessblog.com.
He said that while everyone can benefit from organizing meetings with a specific agenda and shared meeting notes, Spinach focuses on the stand-up meeting that agile engineering teams start every day with. “We started with one very specific type of meeting, namely the daily stand up, and that forms the core of a good development sprint, the daily check. This is where the teams meet every morning, which is why we built it as an experience that specifically facilitates those kinds of meetings and helps you run it on autopilot,” he said.
Because it integrates with project management software like Jira, it can bring in the previous day’s goals, the current day’s goals, and any blockages the team has that prevent them from achieving their goals. It is also integrated with Slack to move information back and forth in the technical communication channel.
While it is natively integrated into Zoom, it can be run with other online meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet with the web tool. It also has plans to integrate with other project management tools such as ClickUp, Asana, and Monday.com, and other technical service teams that have become commonly used over time, such as Figma, Notion, and GitHub.
The company is also announcing the tool publicly for the first time today, but it has been in private beta for some time now and has 100 teams working with the tool, including teams from Wix, Fiverr, and Rappi.
He said the technical stand-up meeting is the first use case, but he is considering expanding the product to include other technical meetings over time. The company recently completed a stint with Y Combinator as part of the Winter 2022 cohort.
Talmi says the experience at YC showed he was on to something with this idea. “When we had our early conversation with the founders of Y Combinator, they were really excited about what we were doing because they kind of had a taste of what the next generation of companies would look like and pretty much across the board everyone was starting a remote-first business,” he said.
The company is currently a team of 9 people and they are hiring. Talmi sees being an outside company as a way to build a more diverse team. “Being an external company ourselves allows us to hire people in different places. And so you get that diversity much easier than if you are in one market.”
While Talmi sees the mixed economic conditions as everyone else does, he thinks his company’s products are suitable for any environment, especially as more companies move to remote areas. “A lot of companies are struggling to get people back into the office, and there’s a tension, which a lot of people have been talking about for the past few months… And it’s becoming clear that even with a downturn in the market, it’s going to be a long-term shift about how people work and how companies work with remote working is really becoming a sort of standard standard.”
Today’s $6 million seed round was led by strategic investor Atlassian with help from Y Combinator, Zoom Ventures, Maven Ventures, Tuesday Capital and Cardumen Capital.