Pie takes on Slack in the workplace chat market

pie-chatSlack leads the bigger names in the market for intra-company communications, but Dutch-founded Pie aims to be a contender for the top position.

The Pie platform functions by allowing users to create mini chat-rooms, in which they can share videos or text in-line, as well as files from services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and iCloud Drive. Users need not worry about forgetting, either, as it is possible to search through links, GIFs, photos, videos, music, and files. Despite having only launched last November, Pie is already available for iOS, Android, Apple Watch, Mac, and all major web browsers.

Pie is free at the basic level and always will be, according to co-founder Pieter-Paul Walraven. Walraven says that they are planning to introduce a paid, premium level that will offer users admin-level control, which will allow them to manage users, groups, and external team-chat setting, among other features. Prices for the premium service are expected to range between $5-10 per month, depending on the size of the company and level of integration that they require.

One of the more interesting aspects of this startup is that, despite being founded by a pair of Europeans, they are based out of Singapore and include mainly locals among their team. In fact, the company says that they were one of the Asian startups chosen by Apple to come and work on the Apple Watch.

Pie is reluctant to reveal their total number of users, but does share that they obtained $1.2 million in funding in Q1 of this year. That funding, picked up from GREE Ventures, Koh Boon Hwee, Wavemaker Partners (DFJ Network), Dennis Goh, and Ivan Yeo from YSS Capital, adds to the $800K in seed funding that they had raised last autumn, giving the startup $2 million in total external backing. The latest round was raised in order help the startup expand their team, develop the paid version, and establish distribution partnerships in Japan and the United States.

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