Outverse wants to build a full-stack community platform for software companies

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Building and leveraging online communities is a major driving force behind some of the world’s biggest platforms, from Stripe and Slack to Figma and Notion.

At the heart of the community-building ethos is a strategy known as product-led growth (PLG), in which companies make selling and onboarding new users into the product itself, as opposed to traditional marketing- and sales-driven approaches. Depends. But managing these heterogeneous communities presents a perpetual challenge for companies to gather feedback, support users, encourage upgrades, share knowledge, and understand what’s happening across their user base. need to do it.

To help companies address this need by connecting the various pieces that make up online communities, including GitHub, Discord, Slack, Twitter, and LinkedIn, countless platforms have turned to venture capital (VC) funding. We’ve seen it raise money. But a new company is entering open beta today with $6 million in new funding for an all-in-one platform designed to host the community and product knowledge itself.

full stack

Founded in London in 2021, Outverse seeks to tackle similar problems that Commsor, Common Room, Threado, Talkbase, Crowd.dev, and others are trying to solve, but with a different approach. Its mission is to build it. calls it a “full-stack community platform” for software companies, with a rich forum, knowledge base, and product documentation.

“Outverse doesn’t operate in the same space as these community analytics and workflow tools,” Outverse founder and CEO Kyran Schmidt told TechCrunch. “This market is becoming more and more saturated and basically trying to solve similar problems with data and integration. We are building a channel.”

reverse forum image credit: inside out

In many ways, Outverse is trying to be a better version of services like Slack, Discord, Stack Overflow, Facebook Groups, and Reddit. While these tools are powerful in their own right, “they weren’t really built for the needs of the software community,” Schmidt said.

Outverse, for example, features a dedicated forum mechanism that supports linking conversations, marking questions as resolved, voting on feature requests and bug reports, and a semantic engine that makes it easy to find knowledge.

reverse forum image credit: inside out

discover

In fact, Outverse says it uses Large Language Models (LLM) as part of its mission to become a “centralized knowledge ecosystem” for the SaaS software community. Initially, this will involve creating semantic relationships between content and discussions, but will enhance the platform with “AI-enhanced knowledge search flows” and new “AI-powered team and manager workflows.” It’s a schedule.

And this is one of Outverse’s core pitches. It aims to be a knowledge base spanning documentation, forums, changelogs, etc., all optimized for easy discovery, including search engine indexing. According to Schmidt, this “helps build a company’s brand presence and SEO efforts.”

“By integrating this functionality, Outverse will enable community growth and make its value more accessible to stakeholders across product, support and marketing teams,” said Schmidt. “As a result, it will be much easier for companies to reap significant potential benefits from community efforts.”

Slack, by contrast, is a popular tool for engaging in communities, but typically requires users to be community members to view content. Additionally, Schmidt points out that Slack’s per-seat business model is a huge deterrent to large communities.

“If you have a community of thousands of users, your choice is [with Slack] Either stick with the free plan where after 90 days all valuable content is hidden and old discussions are effectively useless, or you pay exorbitant amounts,” Schmidt said.

Outverse offers a basic free plan with space for 500 community members, and a $99/month plan gives access to unlimited members and offers other perks.

headwind

The arrival of Outverse’s open beta comes as some popular community platforms face significant headwinds, from Twitter turmoil to Reddit developer upsets and subsequent blackouts, not to mention Slack’s price hike last year. It was done at some time.

“This questionWhere should I host my community?’The situation has become even more dire in recent months,’ Schmidt said. “And we’ve seen a lot of companies start taking this issue seriously and looking for more ‘owning’ alternatives. “

This comes after Outverse raised £1m ($1.2m) in pre-seed funding last year, and the latest $6m cash injection sees the company planning to expand its product ahead of a full-scale launch. said there is. Equipped with features such as real-time chat.

Outverse’s seed round was led by Wing VC, with participation from Notion Capital, Seedcamp, Connect Ventures and Tiny VC.



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