London-based workforce management startup Surfboard raises $5m seed round to accelerate growth

London-based workforce management startup Surfboard raises $5m seed round to accelerate growth

Published: 23-11-2022 11:40:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 5191 | Tags:

London-based workforce management startup Surfboard announced it has raised a $5 million seed round. The investment will advance Surfboard's mission of making work more human through building collaborative software for support teams - centred on scheduling. The funding will be used to accelerate product development, grow the team, and deepen integrations.

Surfboard started in 2021 with the aim of helping companies move away from spreadsheets and archaic workforce management software. In the journey so far, Surfboard has learned that beyond building a product people want to use, it can make a huge difference in the way teams work together and the experience of fairness for employees.

Surfboard's collaborative planning software 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. The customer service industry has undeniably shifted to permanent patterns of hybrid and remote work.

With this shift comes previously unforeseen challenges like 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. At Surfboard, we are redefining how teams work together through increased transparency, fair scheduling, and collaborative team planning. 

Customer support teams manage their teams’ 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.

Surfboard has simplified all this into a quick, seamless and adaptable process on an intuitive, easy to use platform. Within one week of using Surfboard, customers have seen an 80% reduction in the time spent on scheduling and significant improvement in service levels. 

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. 

In the last year, Surfboard has focused on building integrations into ticketing, chat and telephony systems such as Aircall, Dixa, Intercom, Salesforce and Zendesk. the company builds forecasts to work out how many people are required online and when they are needed. Surfboard's robust forecasting model balances availability, skills and fairness to build optimal support team schedules easily. Team members are able to collaborate to adjust schedules based on changes to demand or availability. In addition, Surfboard automatically pulls time-off information from HR systems such as Personio, Factorial, Bamboo, Hibob and Google Calendar, all to remove the friction of data sitting in different places. 

Collaborative scheduling means that agents (or surfers as we call them) can work with managers to manage their time together. Surfers and managers can collaborate to build schedules that suit their best ways of working and are flexible enough to accommodate their personal life outside of work. Teams are able to communicate directly within the platform to find the best outcomes that satisfy the needs and expectations of the customer while encouraging a healthier work/life balance for surfers.

This seed round was led by Speedinvest with participation from Fly Ventures, SeedcampTokyo Black, Nomad Capital, Jag Singh and Foreword VC. We are extremely grateful for their support, confidence and excitement in our mission.