Culture as a Service Startup Unlock Receives $2 Million In Seed Funding Round


UK-based Unlock, a SaaS-enabled marketplace to build culture among remote teams, has raised a $2m seed round.

The round was lead by La Famiglia, with other investors including Kima Ventures, Antler, GuideStar Ventures and includes other well-known angels.

CaaS (Culture-as-a-Service) is a new, $300bn sector attracting significant investor interest as both remote work and competition over the best talent continue to grow. With venture funding that was poured into European technology companies doubling in the first half of 2021 in comparison to the previous year, the fight for talent is becoming intense.

Maria Wlosinska, Co-Founder and CEO of Unlock said: “We’re in the midst of a culture shift. The companies we work with realise that in order to stay ahead in the talent war, they have to put a strong culture at the core, but that’s not always easy to do in practice. At Unlock, we know that with the right tools and content, gathering as a team online can be easy, engaging and really fun.”

“By providing the cultural infrastructure for companies, they don’t have to spend hours researching and managing how to drive culture in their teams. We make sure there is enough content variability within our platform and the experiences on Unlock are curated to feel refreshing and inspiring for teams to come back regularly.”

Unlock tackles what it believes to be a core part of this new battleground in the war for talent – culture and belonging. Unlock gives workplaces an online venue packed with curated interactive experiences to end the struggle to build remote team cohesion.

It already has 300+ purpose-built bite-size conversation starters and games, and 50+ curated experiences from virtual activity creators – ranging from an origami lesson hosted from Tokyo to an interactive song writing session hosted by a professional band.

Companies can also choose to get personalised cultural calendars consisting of a range of different activities every month. Its unique way of combining a flexible video venue with a marketplace of distinctive experiences has already attracted well-known companies to their customer base.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for employee engagement platforms, with companies keen to provide more support to remote workforces. Unlock doesn’t try to build a virtual office and recreate a physical environment online, but rather build a digital first experience that makes it easier to build healthy remote team cultural habits through meaningful and fun activities, whilst adding a new source of revenue for virtual event creators.

Judith Dada, La Famiglia’s General Partner, said: “We are at the dawn of the Golden Age of the Employee: in the ever fiercer fight for talent, the cultural empowerment of employees is one of the biggest levers companies have on their quest to being successful, but also a real challenge for fully remote, hybrid, or geographically distributed teams”