Throughout my career, I've been frustrated with the tools available for working with customers. Everyone has a backend database (CRM) to keep track of customer interactions. But when it comes to actually working with customers, there’s no defined way to organize all the information that gets shared. Most people rely on some combination of email and Google or Microsoft products. But as the software industry has grown, the number of tools to interact with customers has exploded. Now teams try to use everything from Notion to Loom to Asana to Slack to work with people outside their company.
I first encountered this problem while working on the accounts team at an agency. I used to build never-ending Google Docs/Slides/Sheets for clients that linked to all of our notes, agendas and deliverables. It was a messy process that never felt premium enough for the client.
As one of the first employees at Lattice, I realized this was also a challenge for SaaS revenue teams. Increasingly, customers are relying on digital information to make purchasing decisions and figure out how to use a product. I saw firsthand that the amount of information available across the Internet can be overwhelming for customers and lead towards some false conclusions.
SaaS companies - both pre and post sales - need to curate information for the customer. This changes the role of sales and customer success teams. Now, it’s the job of client-facing teams to be consultative and collaborative. They need to guide the customer through the web of public and private information. This is easier said than done. Internal teams struggle to figure out the best thing to send over to the customer at the right moment in time. And current software solutions are not designed for this challenge.
At Lattice, Luc, a brand designer, and I tried to solve this problem by building a partner portal in Webflow. This portal helped our sales team standardize what we shared with customers and organized the information buyers needed to make a decision. Sales reps loved the portal because it helped differentiate Lattice from the competition and shortened sales cycles. But more importantly, we noticed that Lattice’s buyers loved the experience because it armed champions with the information they needed to make the case to internal stakeholders. This initial insight gave us the inspiration to start Dock.
Last year, Luc and I teamed up with an early Lattice engineer, Victor, to start working on Dock full-time. Over the course of the year, we turned our prototype into a real product, launched our beta program, hired more engineers and talked to hundreds of customers. Along the way, we better defined Dock and the use cases that we support.
Now, we describe Dock as a collaborative workspace for anyone outside of your company. Sales teams use Dock to manage the buyer experience. Customer success teams use Dock to onboard new customers. Founders use Dock to raise money from investors. Agencies and service firms use Dock to create portals for each client.
Across the range of use cases, Dock’s value remains the same. Dock makes it easy for customers to work with your company. With Dock, customers have a single destination to access information and collaborate with client-facing teams. These workspaces integrate with the software you’re already using, so you can provide a streamlined experience for customers. Along the way, companies create a repeatable process that scales.
In building Dock, we’ve been fortunate to work with a number of design partners to get feedback on our product. Our main design partner has been my former company, Lattice. We’ve been able to work closely with the sales team to build the product.
Lattice’s CRO, Dini Mehta, says that Dock “streamlines the buying experience and empowers our champions to make the case for our product to internal stakeholders at their companies.”
Another one of our beta customers, Erin Faverty, Head of Customer Success at Origin, said customers love working within Dock. After sharing a Dock workspace, her customer told her that “Origin came through with the best onboarding resources I’ve ever seen.”
It’s still early days for Dock, but we’re energized by the positive feedback we’ve received from our design partners. Now, we feel ready to expand our user base and start scaling the company.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised $3m led by Altman Capital to bring our product vision to market. Read more about our announcement on TechCrunch.
In raising our round, we wanted to make sure we partnered with some of the greatest minds in the startup world. Given our experience at Lattice, we're thrilled to have Jack Altman (CEO and Co-Founder of Lattice) and Max Altman support our vision and lead the round. We were also intentional in seeking out operators and investors who have deep experience in building go-to-market organizations. We had 50+ investors participate. Here's a snapshot of the investors who joined the round:
- Operator Collective and Mallun Yen, Founder & CEO
- Flexport Fund and Ben Braverman, former CRO at Flexport
- Vlad Magdalin, CEO and Co-Founder of Webflow
- Zach Perret,CEO and Co-Founder of Plaid
- William Hockey, Co-Founder of Plaid
- Pete Kazanjy, CEO and Co-Founder of Atrium
- Shaan Puri, Host of My First Million
- Doug Pepper, Partner at ICONIQ
- Liu Jiang, Investor
- Beth Turner, Investor at SV Angel
- Thejo Kote, CEO and Founder at Airbase
- Julian Shapiro, Investor
- David Birnbaum, Managing Partner at Five Four Ventures
- Lattice’s Invest In Your People Fund
We’re incredibly fortunate to be supported by such an amazing group of investors and we’re excited that this capital will support our focus on product development. We’ve built a solid foundation with the workspace editor and templates. Now it’s time to add deeper functionality when it comes to real-time collaboration, conversation, automation and more. For this year, we’re going to prioritize the sales and customer success use cases, so companies can manage the entire customer lifecycle within Dock.
This is just the beginning.
Companies working together is the backbone of the global economy. Dock workspaces will change how companies collaborate by creating a simple and secure place to share information. Over time, Dock will set a new standard for communication and information sharing between two companies.
P.S. We have a lot of work ahead and we’re looking to hire engineers. If you know React and are looking to join a small, remote team, please apply here. If you want to help out on the business side, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reach out to you when we start ramping the GTM team.