Yac gets backed by Slack to bring the intimacy of voice back when remote co-workers interact

Yac, the digital voice messaging service that launched last year, has raised new money from the Slack Fund as it continues to gain ground among companies looking to give their employees new communication tools for remote working.

The Florida-based startup initially spun out of a pitch at Product Hunt’s Maker Festival. Developed by the digital agency SoFriendly, Yac’s digital voice messaging service won the startup competition at the event and attracted the interest of Boost VC and its founder, the third-generation venture capitalist Adam Draper.

Yac officially launched in March and had 900 teams sign up within the first week. The company’s product now includes one-to-many messaging, Slack integration and an improved desktop app. It also managed to attract the attention of the Slack Fund.

The investment from Slack comes two years after Yac’s founder Justin Mitchell first reached out to the company, Mitchell said.

Instead of a cold call, Mitchell found himself as the object of Slack’s attention thanks to an introduction from Jim Rand, an entrepreneur whose Synervoz Communications was also working on new voice communications applications.

Rand and Mitchell had connected through LinkedIn and bonded over the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. As they continued talking, Rand, whose company makes an API to connect audio applications to other services, asked if Mitchell wanted to talk to Slack about collaborating.

Slack reached out and Mitchell responded via the Yac app. Essentially all of the due diligence was conducted over a series of voice messages that Mitchell left responding to questions from the Slack team, Mitchell said.

The publicly traded messaging company came in with a small investment of $500,000.

Yac now has a bit over 5,000 users on its service and charges per seat, in the same way Slack does. Mitchell said he will use the funds to integrate more closely with Slack’s own messaging service. Some Yac features will automatically be integrated into Slack, where users can turn their call button into a Yac button to deliver audio messages instead of doing real-time phone calls.