As more people return to the office, meetings have become more hybrid with people both at home and in the office. Fellow aims to help leaders have productive meetings, no matter how their team meets.
Co-founder and CEO Aydin Mirzaee told TechCrunch that unproductive meetings – you know, the ones that could really be emails – cost U.S. companies $ 37 billion a year. Instead, he believes that productive meetings are about collaborative agendas, recording history, and following a process.
“Before, when we were all personal, no one brought any units to a meeting, and now every meeting is on one unit, which has opened up the landscape,” he explained. “It’s crazy to think that people have not previously built software for meetings, but now it makes sense to have a cross-company platform to ensure that all meetings are productive.”
Co-founders, from left, Aydin Mirzaee, Samuel Cormier-Iijima and Amin Mirzaee
The meeting management software company, founded in 2017, provides tools in one place that are designed to support all kinds of meetings. Fellow’s SaaS business model includes a free plan and levels for additional users and organizational features.
Some of the features include agenda templates, action item identification, analytics for insight into how often people meet, and integrations with virtual meeting software for note-taking.
Fellow’s list of customers includes Shopify, Hopin and GoCardless. Over the past year, the company saw this list more than triple, and so did the number of meetings on the platform. In addition, over 2 million meeting agendas and notes were registered and the company is on track to quadruple its revenue this year, Mirzaee said.
To continue on that path, the company announced $ 24 million in Series A financing. Craft Ventures led the round and was joined by iNovia, Felicis, Garage Ventures, Formentera and SVB. The new financing will go to product development, building its infrastructure and hiring in sales, marketing and customer success. That brings the company’s total raised funds to $ 30.5 million, according to the company.
The global virtual meeting software market is expected to be valued at $ 41.6 billion in 2027. Meanwhile, the global productivity management software market reached $ 43 billion in 2020 and will grow 14% annually through 2028.
This has startups queuing up to get a piece of it, and Fellow is one of the latest on a list that attracted venture capital attention. In the last month, this has included:
Hera, a virtual meeting calendar
Read AI, a meeting dashboard to show engagement
Vocals aimed at making meetings more useful before, during and after
Mirzaee agrees that there is competition, but says that there are few opportunities that are custom-built for meetings, and Fellow’s approach is unique.
“Our vision is to build a meeting productivity product that aims to help managers hold productive meetings and then manage their teams,” he added. “There are few solutions out there that are custom built for meetings.”
Lainy Painter, partner at Craft Ventures, also pointed out that Fellow has been able to start with one team and quickly expand within an organization when they see how productive they can be.
Painter is the user of the tool, and with telecommuting here to stay, the meeting is just one of those workflows that were not yet optimized.
“I see Fellow dominating the meeting management category,” she added. “We are still in the early stages of the shift to how we want to work remotely, and although we saw much of it move in the first months to a Zoom interface, there was a lot of optimization on the table. The future of work and meetings is to adopt new tools that take advantage of being completely remote and not just take an existing paradigm and replicate it. “