Cord gets $ 17.5 million to connect more developers to its API for real-time collaboration – TechCrunch


Rope, a startup that offers a single API to add Slack-like collaboration features to any app, has raised $ 17.5 million in Series A funding.

The cycle – which is intended to fund product development, including recruiting engineers, designers and product managers – was led by European VC Index. Other participating investors include NFX and Stride, as well as angel investors Elad Gil, Jeff Morris Jr., Charlie Songhurst, Guy Podjarni and Matt Robinson.

The London-based startup was only founded last year. It is not yet disclosing the number of customers, but today revealed a partnership with “conversational data collection” platform Typeform, which uses Cord’s API to provide its customers with the ability to collaborate on designing online forms.

Cord says that a private beta he was running, which ended in August when it was opened to general access, involved “hundreds” of customers – including other SaaS manufacturers, undisclosed startups and scale-ups.

“Our best markets are really B2B SaaS used by teams, so we see everything from people using it in CRMs like HubSpot, CMSs like Webflow or WordPress, marketing tools like Mailchimp, BI tools like Amplitude. , no-code tools like Retool and everywhere. otherwise, you’re working with other people who you need approval, help, or feedback from, ”the startup told TechCrunch.

“Right now it’s more widely supported by teams that are early stage startups to scale up, we’re seeing use among Typeform client companies, so some very large companies. multi-billion dollar consumer brands and techs who are Typeform users or a large film studio that uses Rope in their BI tools.

Cord’s API – which he presents as a single line of JavaScript – allows paying customers to quickly add a range of collaborative features to their own products, thereby simplifying the development of social add-ons such as real-time chat. , presence, annotations and integrations. with task managers and Slack, screen recordings, audio messages, live co-browsing and video chat.

Screenshot showing Cord’s integration with Typeform (Image credits: Cord)

Information workers around the world who already struggle to stay on top of all the channels they need to check Slack-style notifications, pings, and other digital chatter should be prepared for that kind of noise. social worsens exponentially; in essence, it could end up as ubiquitous background radiation – spread across every enterprise software.

Commenting on Cord’s increase in a statement, Jan Hammer, partner at Index Ventures, predicted that resistance to this trend will nonetheless be futile.

“The growth of remote working, combined with a proliferation of software-as-a-service tools, means teams are wasting time moving back and forth between productivity and communications applications, such as Slack. Cord allows users to stay in the application that best supports their workflow while enjoying the benefits of collaboration, ”he suggested. “We love Cord adding to existing applications – it’s not yet another solution customers will have to adopt, it’s a solution they’re already used to. Ultimately, we believe SaaS tools will ship with Cord right out of the box. “

Cord’s pitch is that its API allows companies to save “years” of development time by allowing them to add a social dimension with ease – and thus steal a competitive market on more siled peers.

“Most web products will become a multiplayer experience in the years to come,” suggests Nimrod Priell, RopeCEO and co-founder of, in a statement. “We’re already seeing it happening: Figma has reached 4 million users in 4 years and has decimated Adobe, Invision and Sketch to become the dominant prototyping design application – in large part thanks to its integrated collaboration.

“If Figma is the ‘Google Docs of Design’, we allow each product to become the Google Docs for their respective industries.”

Priell is a former Facebook product manager. While another Cord co-founder Jackson Gabbard, who is also its CTO, was a Facebook engineer who worked on some formative features of its platform and an in-house suite of tools used by tens of thousands. of Facebook employees.

Competitively, Cord isn’t the only startup trying to sell other companies an easy way to add real-time collaboration functionality – it says like another team building similar APIs, for example.

There are other startups as well, such as Liveblocks – or, on the lower level of the collaboration pipe, Ably.

While Google has been offering an API for developers to add Google Docs style collaboration to their own apps for nearly a decade.

But Cord also argues that his main competition is internal development efforts to build collaboration tools in-house – making a SaaS-style pitch to other companies so as not to worry about investing time and money. precious money away from their “core experience and mission”, and instead outsource the building of a “high quality communication experience”, which integrates with core services such as Slack and Teams and is upgraded. day by a dedicated team of API builders, to another third-party vendor.

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