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Rake

Rake is a universal messaging platform for enterprises to small businesses.

Pitch Video
Investor Panel

Highlights

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📈 Added 1,184 workspaces between March and May 2021
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🦾Averaging 18 daily signups
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💼Team includes previous founders with combined multiple exits

Our Team

I enjoy leading in a disruptive company and the opportunity to build a next-generation messaging platform is massive. Slack and others introduced messaging but they're stuck and won't create the next big step in messaging.

Pitch

As collaboration tools and social platforms mature, organizations have increasingly embraced omnichannel communication for internal collaboration and sales/marketing growth strategies. Because omnichannel adoption in a typical organization evolves slowly, organizations often adopt it in stages, and decisions regarding vendors to support various channel integrations do not always take overlap into account. As a result, there are often multiple vendors in place to support messaging. With multiple vendors come multiple apps, user accounts, security policies, and permission structures. Add to that the silos of the historical messages and customer/contact data, and numerous developer code bases for whatever automated processes the organization chose to build. 

The problem is a lack of cohesive, managed messaging across most organizations, this results in reduced or resistance to adoption, higher costs, and a disconnected user experience.

Rake simplifies and unifies all forms of messaging, reduces vendors, improves access and security, cascades critical business rules and message templates, and facilitates a write-once development environment using a universal message format.


The messaging market is big, so there are many competitors. We tend to think about the companies that are either going after Universal Messaging or who are in the position to shift to Universal Messaging.

Companies that would need a fundamental shift include Microsoft Teams and Slack. These companies have vast resources, but they really would need to reinvent themselves. You also have chat companies like LiveChat, Drift, Intercom, and many others. These companies tend to have contact center pricing models. We think it would be difficult to switch to a complete company pricing model and undermine their current revenue stream.

LivePerson is a company going after the Universal Messaging market from the enterprise side. But we believe it will be difficult to downsize into a subscription pricing model. Rocket.chat shows promise in traversing both omnichannel chat and internal collaboration, but we think they have a big miss without having a single, common message structure across platforms. That is an especially challenging problem to fix with their distributed (open-source) codebase.


In the long-term, we believe our market can be any organization that uses messaging.

But, that's not our target in the next few years. First, we want to target a few verticals where we have an outstanding offering right now for contact center applications. At the end of this year, with the roadmap items we've outlined completed, we would expect to follow a product-led growth strategy with some specific targets where sales and support are the drivers.

W5 Golf, Inc. was an early user of Slack, since 2014, they used different web chat app for handling customer-based chats since about 2017.  

After implementing Rake in 2020, W5 reduced messaging vendors, improved and streamlined security and user management for a now wholly remote team of nearly 300 contact center agents. Additionally, they were able to take advantage of more automation tools using a single-common platform for both customer chat and internal messaging/collaboration.

This investment round ties directly to executing our strategic development roadmap and then moving into a Product Led Growth (PLG) strategy. We see this as a two-step process.

As a first step, we know that Rake's current product serves inbound omnichannel to a variety of verticals with great value. It is perfect for what our biggest clients have been doing with it for the last two years. In light of those strengths, we have adapted our strategy to pursue tech providers in some key verticals that can add value to their subscription offerings by offering this service. Using this vertical partnership strategy, we will generate the recurring revenue needed to raise additional capital.

Based on feedback and a user-driven roadmap, we know what features users are willing to pay for. Our go-to-market strategy will be based on PLG after we complete the critical elements on our strategic roadmap and implement a comprehensive and deep bench of upgrade features and add-ons.

With over 500 active workspaces already using the platform daily, we are gathering valuable information and feedback from the early user base. We take pride in servicing a wide variety of organizations and verticals, our early users cover a broad spectrum of use cases.

We have built a team with a bend toward product and technology.

We have an excellent team of about a dozen developers in Ukraine. We have worked with many of these folks for a long time now and they are an important key to our success.

This is the third company Andy has started with a tech focus.

Mike Brown has been leading software product directions and teams since 1999. 

Jim Wood, our CTO, was the CTO at Andy's first company and was still at that company until about a year ago. His background is with highly redundant and scalable systems with the Air Force and telecom industries. 

Mike Hendrix is our CRO and will lead our go-to-market strategies. Mike has been with Rake for about 18 months and brings an impressive background growing B2B and B2C service and technology products. We met Mike while in a partnership relationship and we grew to respect his tenacity, ingenuity, and leadership. 


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