Outreach founders lift the hood on their stealthy new remote work startup – GeekWire

Outreach founders lift the hood on their stealthy new remote work startup – GeekWire

Outreach founders lift the hood on their stealthy new remote work startup – GeekWire

Outreach co-founders Gordon Hempton (left) and Wes Hather are working together on a new startup called Spot. (Photo courtesy of Hempton)

Outreach co-founders Wes Hather and Gordon Hempton are sharing a little more about their secretive new company.

The entrepreneurs left Outreach over the past year and are now working together on Spot, a Seattle-based startup building a tool for remote work.

The company is staying quiet about its actual product and target market, but the idea is around software that acts as a “home base” for colleagues, Hempton told GeekWire in an email this week. It will complement collaboration tools such as Teams, Zoom, and Slack, but with user interaction that is much different. Spot is trying to bridge the gap between the traditional office experience and a remote-only work setting.

“A work environment is more than just chat and video. It involves culture, values, and personality,” the company’s website reads. “We are building the UI for work that brings people together — bringing the spirit and utility of being in the same physical office as your teammates to a digital experience.”

In that vein, it’s similar to another new Seattle startup called Voodle, which recently launched a short-form video app that aims to change how employees share information across an organization. Voodle wants to replace long video calls or text-based notes with bite-sized selfie-oriented video clips about customer updates, status reports, account progress, and lighter work-related moments.

Usage of collaboration software is on the rise this year amid the pandemic as more people work from home. The market is expected to grow to more than $26 billion by 2027.

It’s unclear if the WFH culture will remain post-pandemic, or if companies adopt some sort of hybrid version that allows employees to move between the office and home. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and others are allowing workers to stay home until next summer.

In some ways, Hempton and Hather are going back to their startup roots. The first company they worked on together was a Y Combinator graduate called Team Apart that built a real-time web collaboration tool for remote teams more than a decade ago.

For now, Hempton and Hather are the only employees. They have not raised outside capital.

Hempton left Outreach this past October, while Hather departed earlier this year. They helped launch the billion-dollar Seattle startup six years ago with Andrew Kinzer and Manny Medina. Kinzer left in March and Medina remains CEO of Outreach, which sells sales automation software and just raised a $50 million round. Medina told GeekWire previously that his co-founders left on good terms.

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