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Alternative professional social network Polywork raises $13m in Series A

This comes only three months after its launch and disruption of the sector.

Allie Nawrat

Polywork networking
Credit: JANE PEIMER via Twenty20.

Unleash Your PotentialThe capital will be used to help Polywork grow its team from 15 to 25.

Just three months after its launch and $3.5 million seed round, professional network disruptor Polywork has closed a $13 million Series A led by Andreesen Horowitz, a prolific HR tech investor.

The founders of Stripe, Instagram, and Reddit also participated in the round. As did previous investors, including Caffeinated Capital, who led the seed round.

Polywork was founded on the basis that existing professional networking tech, like LinkedIn, was failing to allow users to properly express their interests and selves beyond their employer and job title.

Therefore, Polywork provides a gamified platform that enables users to share elements of their personality – like ‘book worm’ or ‘life long learner’ – as well as their skills at work, with the aim of fostering better collaboration between likeminded people.

Talking about the Series A, founder and CEO Peter Johnson said: “Who we are as people and professionals is hard to confine to a single label –  the reality is our identities are much more complex and wonderful than that.

“We are empowering people to represent all the different things they do, both personally and professionally, inside and outside of their 9-5pm work.

“So far Polywork has resonated with professionals because it acknowledges and empowers people to represent all the quirks of being human.

“It’s been amazing to see people share highlights of the things they’ve actually accomplished at work while also sharing more personal updates like how they started homeschooling their children, travelled to a new city, or suffered from imposter syndrome.

“We’re really excited to welcome Sriram [Krishnan] and the wider Andreesen Horowitz team on board to help grow Polywork.”

Polywork plans to use the funding to grow its team from 15 to 25 people, with a particular focus on hiring for the product, design, engineering and data science teams.

In an Andreesen Horowitz blog post, Krishnan wrote: “Current professional networking platforms don’t cut it. Your moniker might read “Software Engineer” or “Product Manager” or “Designer” and perhaps the school you went to, but these titles alone don’t come close to capturing what we actually do in our professional lives or the types of work we find motivating.

“Polywork focuses on letting people tell their own stories and all they’re capable of, so we can meet new people, supercharge our teams, and unlock creativity. 

“From capturing details like who you collaborated with on various projects to career highlights, to a system of community-created badges reflecting both personal and professional traits, Polywork is building a new professional network, from the ground up, that reflects how we work in 2021.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Polywork team on community, product, and more—and see where the new world of work takes us.”

As a result of the funding, Krishnan will also be joining the Polywork board.

Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger added: “Polywork is the professional social network that truly reflects the multifaceted nature of people and how they work on lots of things at once.

“They are filling a huge gap in the social network market today that there is no place to universally see what people are working on or simply how to see what types of things people want to collaborate on.

“It’s arrived just at the right time to usher in a simpler, faster, more open way to share and collaborate with one another professionally.”

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