French startup iObeya raises $17m to revolutionize visual management, expand its U.S. footprint
iObeya, a leading provider of Enterprise Visual Management software, announced it has raised $17 million in a second round of funding from Red River West with participation from Atlantic Bridge Capital and Fortino Capital Partners, bringing the total raised to date to $20 million.
In addition to advancing the development of its platform, the new financing will accelerate the company's expansion into the United States, including the opening of a Seattle headquarters led by Cisco veteran Tim McCracken. The company also announced that it has recruited Rick Tywoniak, an expert in the field of visual collaboration, as Vice President of Marketing.
While iObeya was widely used prior to the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of workers already use iObeya every day - the rapid and unprecedented shift to remote work has fueled skyrocketing demand for its platform, which is up by more than 400% since January. iObeya is ideal for large organizations with distributed teams; those that have complex R&D, engineering, and manufacturing processes; and those that utilize Lean and Agile methods. A growing number of forward-thinking multinational companies depend on iObeya for Visual Management and visual collaboration including: Airbus, Thales, Volvo, Philips, Cartier, Axa, Eli Lilly and Company, Western Digital, Kimberly-Clark, Danaher, Sanofi, and many more.
Luc-Emmanuel Barreau, Partner at Red River West said: “A decade or more ago, digital whiteboarding tools ushered in an era of visual collaboration. Today, iObeya represents a new vanguard that is poised to define the era of Visual Management. iObeya’s momentum and ‘stickiness’ among leading global brands proves that there is significant and growing demand for enterprise-grade visual collaboration solutions that are designed on Lean and Agile principles, that fuel innovation and drive business performance. iObeya’s team has a proven track record and we’re excited to lead this investment as the company expands its global footprint, notably in the U.S.”
Companies around the world are increasingly deploying Lean and Agile management methodologies in order to improve overall business performance and competitiveness. Visual Management is a core component of these transformative methodologies, yet many companies find it difficult to scale enterprise-wide: valuable knowledge ends up on Post-It notes, whiteboards, or other information silos such that it cannot be securely stored or shared.
Existing visual collaboration and digital whiteboarding tools are limited in enterprise functionality and are ineffective at reproducing a company’s unique Lean rituals and Agile ceremonies at scale, creating disconnectedness across teams and reducing their ability to manage projects effectively. As a result, many companies must either develop their own software in-house, which is both time-consuming and costly, or attempt to piece together multiple tools.
Cyril Daloz, co-founder and CEO of iObeya said: "Today’s workers know that advancing a unified vision and achieving common goals through teamwork especially when working remotely, is essential. That’s why companies are striving to provide their employees with a human-centric, virtual environment in which they can innovate, grow, and contribute to the success of the business. iObeya is an enterprise platform that empowers teams to create secure, configurable virtual rooms to support all their Visual Management practices. Users can share information and ideas, collaborate with colleagues in real time, and track the progress of projects according to Lean and Agile principles. Our solution is particularly well-positioned to lead in these unprecedented times. We look forward to using this new investment to deliver a more visual and collaborative management approach, centered on human values, to large organizations as we expand our business in the U.S. and around the world."
As the leader in Visual Management for Lean and Agile companies, iObeya is at the heart of business processes and helps businesses achieve operational excellence. iObeya accelerates the deployment of Lean and Agile across large organizations by digitizing all key Visual Management practices: industrial product lifecycle management, manufacturing operational excellence, software design and development, continuous improvement of business performance, and much more.
With the iObeya platform, enterprise users can:
1. Go beyond the limitations of paper and boost innovation with real-time, collaborative, visual workspaces
Each iObeya room, designed to be a digital reproduction of a real-world “obeya” room, is a virtual workspace dedicated to visual collaboration, accommodating up to 200 users and 40 whiteboards. Users and teams enjoy an immersive, co-creation experience with a wide range of fully-configurable digital tools to replicate and enhance meetings that are traditionally conducted with paper, Post-It notes, and whiteboards.
2. Incorporate Lean and Agile principles into business processes
Seamless integrations with Atlassian Jira and Microsoft Azure DevOps help companies unlock the full potential of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and strengthen Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) ceremonies. iObeya is integrated with Microsoft Office 365, enabling users to directly access their visual workspace from Microsoft Teams. iObeya also contributes to the digital transformation and operational excellence of factories by providing performance management (SQCDP) for Industry 4.0 applications.
3. Increase participation, transparency, and accountability across working groups
With iObeya, teams have a single online location for tracking ideas, progress, and results so that projects stay on track and nothing falls through the cracks. Intuitive activity cards enable users to sort tasks in a variety of ways: by project, deadline, owner, and other configurable views.
4. Leverage cloud-based SaaS or deploy onsite for total data governance
iObeya offers companies the choice to use its secure SaaS service or easily deploy an on-premise version.
5. Ensure the security of corporate data
iObeya is the only Visual Management solution to be ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified compliant by BSI, the leading international security standards organization. This certification confirms that iObeya meets the most stringent level of IT governance by large enterprises.
Philippe Colombo, Head of Knowledge Management and Visual Management at Volvo said: "Today, more than 10,000 daily users benefit from a single enterprise platform for their Visual Management practices. iObeya allows our teams to be perfectly aligned and to avoid waste all the while benefiting from a significant increase in efficiency for the organization on a global scale: less travel, fewer emails, and above all, more time for product development. iObeya is a must for any global company going through a Lean transformation.''