Discoverly, a San Francisco-based startup building a social enterprise tool, has raised $750,000 in a seed round and is opening up its product to private beta testers.
The company’s slate of investors is impressive: Salesforce, Bessemer Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, Great Oaks, Stocktwits founder Howard Lindzon, Yammer product chief Jim Patterson, MJ Elmore, and Alchemist Accelerator have all pitched in.
So what is it? Discoverly’s founder Theodore Summe, who started the company last year after more than four years at Salesforce, says he is keeping many details of the app close to the chest for now. In a phone call this week, he said Discoverly’s overall mission is to “put social to work” by pulling in social data that already surrounds a company through its individual employees and utilize it at an enterprise level.
“The role of the employee in a company is changing to be more of a company ambassador. Employees who were traditionally only doing communication work that was company-facing are now taking on public roles on social media, whether it’s a rank-and-file staffer answering a Tweet about a product or an engineer answering a question on Quora,” Summe said.
“Employees at all levels now evangelize, help recruit, retain new customers — essentially, they act more like company owners. Discoverly helps companies employ the social data they have access to [and in turn] make them more successful.”
The product has been testing with users in private beta for a couple months now, and Discoverly is now opening it up to more candidates interested in trying the app for free. The target market, Summe says, is startups and small- to medium-sized companies who have “all hands on deck” when it comes to employees using social media at work.
Discoverly currently has four full-time staffers and several contract workers. The plan is to launch a public beta in late spring, Summe says.
It sounds like an interesting proposition, albeit a very vague one. It is certainly targeting a growing list of companies that are embracing social media today with varying degrees of success. And while social and consumer-facing apps haven’t shaken out quite as well as many investors may have hoped from a financial standpoint, the enterprise space is hotter than ever — so an app that bridges the two worlds could be a good thing if it’s done well. With Discoverly, for now, we’ll have to wait and see.