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Polywork, founded by Peter Johnston, has concluded a Series A round that garnered funding from prominent Silicon Valley figures.
Peter Johnston, a Carrickfergus native and the founder of the business-focused social network Polywork, has secured a $13 million Series A financing, which was headed by Andreessen Horowitz (A16z).
GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, and Stripe founders John and Patrick Collison were among the illustrious investors that joined A16z.
Along with returning investors Bungalow Capital and 20VC, Goldcrest Capital and Caffeinated Capital were also present.
A draw of Polywork, which was established in 2020, is its creator, Johnston, a former Google employee who founded the freelancer-management software company Kalo (formerly known as Lystable) in 2015. The start-up received recurrent investments from Valar Ventures, graduated from Techstars in the UK, and amassed a clientele that included Google, Airbnb, and The Economist. However, Kalo suffered during the epidemic, so Johnston decided to close it down.
April saw the beta debut of Polywork, while May saw a $3.5 million seed investment. It has been compared to LinkedIn and Twitter by observers and early users, and Johnston has made it apparent that he wants to compete with the Microsoft-owned industry leader in professional networking.
He explained in an interview with Sifted that “our presentation to investors was essentially a reframe of what LinkedIn is attempting to achieve. How beneficial, for example, is a resume that includes a list of skills? What you do with your skills is more important to me than your skill set.
The major means of identification when letting someone know who you are are your work title or your place of education, both of which are rather bad indicators of who you really are and what you care about.
Numerous times in interviews and blog postings, Johnston has expressed his belief that individuals are “more than the labels society has imposed upon them, such as job titles,” and that he thinks Polywork will bridge the gap between the personal and professional in a manner that other social networks cannot. Users receive a Twitter-style feed where they may publish updates on their most recent work, and they can use tags or badges on their profiles to highlight their abilities and hobbies. Additionally, posts may be labelled, allowing you to view a user’s feed based on one of their interests or places of employment.
Following the investment, Sriram Krishnan of A16z will join the Polywork board.
“Earlier this year, we first learned about Polywork, and shortly after, we started noticing well-known internet personalities using it to share their stories. You pay attention when you hear buzz from online groups spanning tech, fashion, music, and more. And it became immediately apparent why Polywork was attracting everyone’s attention,” Krishnan remarked.
“The team was actually creating a network geared to represent the diverse nature of what we do as humans,” said one reviewer of Polywork.