London-based Surfboard raises fresh funds to make team planning more collaborative and human-centric #StartUps - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, November 21, 2022

London-based Surfboard raises fresh funds to make team planning more collaborative and human-centric #StartUps


London-based startup Surfboard has just raised about €4.8 million ($5 million) for its collaborative planning tool. The SaaS startup’s platform better connects teams through data to make work more human, reducing burnout and increasing scheduling flexibility. 

In the modern world, companies need to provide more flexible, more people-centric solutions for their teams. At the same time, the shift to remote and hybrid working has disrupted approaches to work and brought about new challenges and obstacles to overcome. 

The customer service industry is one which has shifted to a remote style of working, right across sectors and countries. With this shift have come unforeseen impacts such as isolation, the loss of work-life balance, and workforce surveillance. In an industry-wide haste to accommodate remote working, many companies fell into the trap of invasively tracking and monitoring their teams – leading to employee burnout, frustration and discontent. 

Aiming to change this is Surfboard – a startup that wants to redefine how teams work together through principles of transparency, fairness and collaboration. The startup has just secured fresh funding and is ready to expand. 

The details

  • €4.8 million ($5 million) led by Speedinvest alongside Fly Ventures and Seedcamp
  • Tim Sadler and Edward Bishop of Tessian, Felix Jahn from McMakler, Alex Hersham from Zencargo, the Founders of Sennder, Stan Masseuras from Intercom, Nomad Capital, Foreword VC, Tokyo Black, and Jag Singh and other notable angels also participated

Deepali Nangia, Partner at Speedinvest: “Across our portfolio we see many companies scaling customer support.  Support is even more complex now with the shift towards remote and even more critical now given the emphasis on customer retention.  We are excited to back a strong founder and team and are strong believers in Surfboard’s mission to ensure better collaboration and productivity across support teams. 

More efficiency and better connectivity

Founded in 2021, Surfboard was developed to take companies into the modern age of workforce planning – getting rid of the spreadsheet and creating a more sophisticated system.

The London-based startup has developed a collaborative planning software that connects disparate systems and data with the aim to make work more human by reducing burnout and increasing scheduling flexibility to match how people want to work.

Natasha Ratanshi-Stein, CEO and founder of Surfboard, said: “Poorly managed scheduling kicks off a vicious cycle of long wait times, lost revenue, employee churn and increased costs. Support teams should always be treated as profit centres and it’s impossible to do that without orchestrating your team efficiently and fairly”. 

Customer support teams traditionally manage their team’s time with cobbled-together systems comprising ticketing providers, time-off data from HR platforms, meetings from calendars, messaging from Slack or Teams and spreadsheets. Add in the complexities of remote working, multiple time zones and flexible work patterns and scheduling becomes one of the biggest pains for managers and the clearest cause of underperforming teams.

Natasha Ratanshi-Stein: ”I’ve seen first-hand the demoralising effect that the existing set of workforce management platforms, including spreadsheets, has on support teams at a human level. For support teams to thrive, individual team members should be empowered to work collaboratively alongside management and their teammates. That’s our vision for Surfboard.”

Surfboard simplifies things into a quick, seamless and adaptable process on an intuitive, easy-to-use platform. Within one week of using Surfboard, customers (which includes Bloom & Wild, Cuckoo Internet, Lick, Wolf & Badger, KatKin and Hypervolt), have seen an 80% reduction in the time spent on scheduling and significant improvement in service levels.

The SaaS solution integrates into ticketing, chat and telephony systems such as Aircall, Dixa, Intercom, Salesforce and Zendesk. It builds forecasts to work out how many people are required online and when they are needed. Its robust forecasting model balances availability, skills and fairness to build optimal support team schedules easily. 

It also automatically pulls time-off information from HR systems such as Personio, Factorial, Bamboo, Hibob and Google Calendar.

As a result, teams using the software can work closely with their managers to better manage their time together. Teams can better collaborate to build schedules that suit their best ways of working and are flexible enough to accommodate their personal life outside of work.

The funding will be used to accelerate product development, helping Surfboard achieve its mission of connecting support teams in a simpler, fairer, and smarter way to make work more human. 

Reshma Sohoni, Managing Partner at Seedcamp, said: “We are impressed with Surfboard’s traction since we wrote their first cheque in early 2021. Their timely solution, relentless focus on their ‘surfers’’ well-being and customer satisfaction, as well as their long-term vision, will supercharge Customer Support and Success in a more collaborative and efficient way to the benefit of all parties involved. Natasha has lived through the problem and is well equipped to tackle it successfully.”


November 21, 2022 at 05:31AM by (Patricia Allen), Khareem Sudlow