Surfboard announced their $5 million seed round to make work more human for support teams through collaborative planning software
The investment will advance their mission of making work more human through building collaborative software for support teams – centred on scheduling.
The funding will be used to accelerate product development, grow Surfboards team, and deepen integrations.
Surfboard, based in the United Kingdom started in 2021 with the aim of helping companies move away from spreadsheets and archaic workforce management software. In the journey so far, the tea learned that beyond building a product people want to use, they can make a huge difference in the way teams work together and the experience of fairness for employees.
The companies collaborative planning software connects disparate systems and data with the aim to make work more human by reducing burnout and increasing scheduling flexibility to match how people want to work.
The customer service industry is undergoing fundamental changes and Surfboard helps to reduce the complexity of these changes
The customer service industry has undeniably shifted to permanent patterns of hybrid and remote work. With this shift comes previously unforeseen challenges like isolation, the loss of work-life balance, and workforce surveillance. In an industry wide haste to accommodate remote working, many companies fell into the trap of invasively tracking and monitoring their teams. At Surfboard, the goal is to redefine how teams work together through increased transparency, fair scheduling, and collaborative team planning.
Customer support teams manage their teams’ time with cobbled-together systems comprising ticketing providers, time-off data from HR platforms, meetings from calendars, messaging from Slack or Teams and spreadsheets. Add in the complexities of remote working, multiple time zones and flexible work patterns and scheduling becomes one of the biggest pains for managers and the clearest cause of underperforming teams.
The Startup simplified all this into a quick, seamless and adaptable process on an intuitive, easy to use platform. Within one week of using Surfboard, customers have seen an 80% reduction in the time spent on scheduling and significant improvement in service levels.
Scheduling creates a problem for teams and customers that Surfboard can solve
Poorly managed scheduling kicks off a vicious cycle of long wait times, lost revenue, employee churn and increased costs. Support teams should always be treated as profit centres and it’s impossible to do that without orchestrating your team efficiently and fairly.
In the last year, the company focused on building integrations into ticketing, chat and telephony systems such as Aircall, Dixa, Intercom, Salesforce and Zendesk. Surfboard build forecasts to work out how many people are required online and when they are needed. The robust forecasting model balances availability, skills and fairness to build optimal support team schedules easily. Team members are able to collaborate to adjust schedules based on changes to demand or availability. In addition, Surfboard automatically pulls time-off information from HR systems such as Personio, Factorial, Bamboo, Hibob and Google Calendar, all to remove the friction of data sitting in different places.
Introducing collaborative scheduling
Collaborative scheduling means that agents (or surfers as they call them) can work with managers to manage their time together. Surfers and managers can collaborate to build schedules that suit their best ways of working and are flexible enough to accommodate their personal life outside of work. Teams are able to communicate directly within the platform to find the best outcomes that satisfy the needs and expectations of the customer while encouraging a healthier work/life balance for surfers.
Speedinvest and other investors on board
The seed round was led by Speedinvest with participation from Fly Ventures, Seedcamp, Tokyo Black, Nomad Capital, Jag Singh and Foreword VC.
© Surfboard / Natasha Ratanshi-Stein,Founder & CEO