Folk is a new productivity tool started by European startup studio eFounders. And the startup just raised a $3.3 million seed funding round led by Accel with a big group of business angels.
When you think about managing contacts and relationships in a professional environment, you might think that companies have solved this already. An entire category of products and companies have emerged around this idea with CRMs. Popular CRM platforms include Salesforce and HubSpot and I’m sure your sales team loves their CRM.
But what does CRM mean exactly? Customer relationship management. If you work for a team that doesn’t have customers, then CRMs aren’t the most appropriate tools. For instance, PR teams work with journalists, logistics teams work with suppliers, events teams work with multiple kinds of partners, etc.
Folk wants to be the relationship management tool for the rest of the company. Chances are those teams don’t use a CRM. Instead, they often rely on shared spreadsheets or information remains siloed.
The company is even trying to give this new category of contact tools a name and calls it the xRM for extended relationships manager. “In xRM, the ‘x’ stands for anyone: you can use it not only for managing clients but also for journalists, suppliers, partners, for example,” Folk CEO Thibaud Elziere said in a statement.
Visually, Folk looks like a spreadsheet. You can add columns with specific information. You can also track your progress around a project with tags. Like with Airtable, Folk lets you filter your view, rearrange data and sort the table in different ways.
When you click on a contact, you open a dedicated contact page. It lets you change data more comfortably and view more information. In particular, you can add comments, assign contacts to your co-workers and view interactions with these contacts.
You don’t have to enter meetings in Folk or copy and paste email conversations in the service. Folk automatically pulls up data from your Gmail and Google Calendar accounts. This way, the entire team can see if someone is staying in touch more closely with a partner. You can choose to share some contacts with the rest of the team but keep your personal contacts to yourself.
In addition to Accel, 35 investors who tend to be operators in their companies are also participating. It’s a big group of investors and you can view the table of these investors at the end of the post.
It’s also worth noting that Thibaud Elziere, the CEO of Folk, is also a co-founder at eFounders, the startup studio where some popular SaaS tools originally started, such as Front, Aircall and Spendesk. And I’m sure he has a wide network of contacts in Folk that he can leverage to turn Folk into a commercial success.