While most startups have to scratch and beg for the slightest bit of attention for their product, occasionally one comes along that seems like it was fired out of a cannon. Paris-based Slite has found itself most decidedly among the latter.
The company launched its collaborative docs tool last year out of the eFounders startup studio. Then it was accepted into Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 batch. Now that it’s finished that program, the team is back in Paris, where it is announcing it has just raised $4.4 million in a round led by Index Ventures, one of Europe’s most influential VC firms.
“This product has to have a high level of expectations,” said Slite founder and CEO Christophe Pasquier. “We’re competing against Google Docs.”
The idea behind Slite is that current collaboration tools like Google Docs or Evernote were built for individuals, not teams. Things like the folder structure and permissions can be hard to manage. The workflow can be cumbersome and tiring for groups, according to Pasquier.
So he decided the answer was to build docs for teams from the ground up. Slite, which also integrates with Slack, makes it easier to track workflow and collaborate. Slite was the result of six months of furious coding that culminated in the initial launch four months ago.
With just word of mouth, the company soon had 3,000 users from 250 companies. More importantly, users were spending large amounts of time on Slite. “It is really something that has entered the daily habits of users,” Pasquier said.
Just as the product was launching, Slite was accepted into Y Combinator, where it was one of six French companies in the Winter Batch. Following the recent Demo Day, the 9-person team returned to Paris to continue development and announce the fundraising.
“Teams waste hours trying to capture and find the right information,” said Ari Helgason, a principal at Index Ventures, in a statement. “We were impressed by Slite’s clear vision of how knowledge sharing should work and their enthusiastic users. By becoming a central source of truth that sits on top of other platforms where knowledge lives they have a shot at becoming a ubiquitous collaboration tool.”
Pasquier said the company will use the money to continue development, including some hiring. For now, the company will stay in Paris, but he expects to be traveling between there and San Francisco quite frequently.
“We don’t need to have a huge workforce,” Pasquier said. “We won’t explode. Right now, we just want to focus on building the product of our dreams.”