From corporate offices to warehouses, the way many of us work has changed more in the first three months of 2020 than in the previous 30 years. That’s why Dorm Room Fund is excited to announce our investment in Grow, a platform that empowers teams to give, request, and track high-quality feedback to achieve more no matter where they’re sitting.
Feedback is broken
After meeting at Cornell Tech, founders Ryan Sydnor and Richard Hill realized how much of their personal growth and professional success had been driven by peers, mentors, and managers who prioritized sharing constructive feedback.
But after hearing others’ experiences, they realized that skills to share effective feedback are far from universal. According to Gallup, only 19% of millennial professionals say they receive regular feedback at work, with fewer than 17% reporting that the feedback they do receive is meaningful. Even employees who do get consistent feedback often lack good ways to capture, track, and share the guidance they’ve received to improve over time.
Across organizations and industries, it’s clear that corporate feedback culture is broken. That’s where Grow comes in.
Better feedback, faster growth
Integrated directly into daily workflows through the Slack and Microsoft Teams apps, Grow allows users to easily give, request, respond to and track their feedback over time, making it clear where they’ve improved and where they still have work to do. Content exchanged via Grow is kept private, encouraging feedback that is continuous, honest, and actionable. Leaders receive insight into their organization’s overall engagement and can visualize collaboration between teams in real-time. Grow even partners with Eden Projects to plant real trees on behalf of users as a reward for growing together!
Why Dorm Room Fund invested
We believe Grow is poised to become a pillar of enterprise people management suites by forging a direct link between better feedback and better team performance.
The market has made it clear that both organizations and employees realize the business value of building an effective feedback culture and are looking for tools to help. The performance management and culture/engagement software verticals are growing rapidly and have a current combined TAM of over $9B. According to research by Gallup, corporate managers who receive effective feedback have been able to increase the profitability of their teams by 8.9%, while employees who receive feedback on their strengths exhibit a turnover rate 14.9% lower than those who don’t. Leading executives recognize the power of effective feedback and organizations are increasingly willing to pay to enable it.
This team builds fast. Since we first met Grow they’ve won the Cornell Tech $100k spinout award, joined Lowenstein Sandler’s 12th VentureCrushFG cohort and raised capital from angel investors. Ryan and Richard live Grow’s mission and are truly obsessed with creating value for their users through continuous interviews and the incorporation of feedback. Grow’s Slack and Microsoft Teams apps have been installed by over 650 teams across 62 countries and the Grow team spends more time speaking, working, and learning alongside their customers than many we’ve seen.
Long-term product vision
Grow believes that consistent feedback shouldn’t require a special meeting or force an employee to jump outside of their typical workflows. Grow’s Slack and Microsoft Teams apps meet employees where they are and make it easy to weave high-quality feedback into a meeting or conversation. By keeping content confidential between the giving and receiving parties, Grow incentivizes private, honest feedback between team members without the pressure of office politics. Grow’s vision isn’t just for a valuable product, it’s to reimagine the role of feedback in our working lives.
Written by Cindy Zhang, Dorm Room Fund Partner (NYC). Follow her on Medium. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.
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