When Ed Stevens moved to Dallas from California, he realized that bringing your credentials with you isn’t as easy as it seems. After some research, he found that 81 percent of workers wished they had stronger connections to those around them. So, to alleviate the problem, the serial entrepreneur set out to create a mobile application that would fill the gaps that a résumé might miss.
Preciate—co-founded by Stevens in 2017—launched with a recognition app to help working professionals boost their relational wealth. Since, it’s grown into a platform that helps businesses and teams foster authentic business and social relationships virtually.
Today, the startup announced the closing of a $4.6 million seed funding round led by Inspiration Ventures. Preciate plans to scale its product development and marketing functions, including hiring for a number of roles. Founders Capital Partners and the Santa Barbara Angel Alliance joined the round, as well as angel investors that included fifteen prominent CEOs, according to a news release.
FORGING DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS, REMOTELY
“With remote work becoming the new normal, companies and organizations need tools that provide the value of in-person relationship building remotely,” Ed Stevens, CEO and co-founder of Preciate, said in a statement.
“Our mission has always been to help people build stronger, deeper relationships in the workplace because friendship and trust make all of us happier, more productive, and more successful. This funding round allows us to continue our mission—further developing our products and services as well as making sure people hear about them.”
In the pandemic, the company’s newest offering—a virtual socializing platform called Preciate Social—has seen business customer adoption grow more than 200 percent quarter-over-quarter in the past year, according to a news release. Preciate Social was developed as a way for groups—large or small—to socialize online. The company has seen the number of hosted socials grow 250 percent in the fourth quarter, it said.
The virtual socializing platform for businesses and teams officially launched in September after a beta test with nearly 10,000 users from 1,700 companies including AAA, SSI, Brock Solutions, and National Science Foundation/Emory.
The social hosting platform was built from the ground up, aiming for an immersive experience that could replicate real-life business mixers. Its patent-pending technology, called Social Presence—allows for social signals and cues like making toasts and moving toward people to start a conversation. Users can hear background noise of other people chatting to help set the scene.
The technology “makes you feel like you’re moving through 3D space instead of staring at a 2D screen,” the company says.
Companies and organizations needed a tool “that provides the value of in-person relationship building remotely,” Stevens said at the time. “Preciate Social is that tool. To create it, we thought critically about how to marry what research tells us about building and maintaining relationships and how to replicate business socials virtually. As a result, we have pioneered social presence technology, and are helping companies and teams come together.”
Using the tool, users can create a customized communal experience with background themes and music similar to planning a live event. Preciate says customers can plan live performers like Ed Sheeran to headline their event. The company even has built-in ice breakers to help get the conversation started in a Convos feature.
“Virtual socialization is only going to grow in the coming years, and people need tools that are specifically designed for the task,” Gady Nemirovsky, general partner of Inspiration Ventures. The investor, which has used the platform to host its own business socials, thinks Preciate is a product “light-years ahead of the competition.”
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