Relate team

Relate raises $1.26m in new pre-seed funding led by Bass Investment

This brings Relate's funding to date to $2.15m from Bass Investment, Translink Investment, N Partners, and Bon Angels.

Christopher Chae
· 3 min read
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Today's sales is complicated. Sales today is much more than just salespeople; it requires collaboration across the company. Sales teams need to loop in cross-disciplinary teams such as product, solution architects, consultants, operations, finance, etc.

To address this new need, Relate raised $1.26 million in new pre-seed funding led by Bass Investment and with participation from Translink Investment, and angel investors Keeyong Han and CEO Joseph Moon. The new investment makes Relate's funding to date $1.87 million. Previous investors include Translink Investment and Bon Angels Venture Partners.

Update: Relate received $755,000 in additional funding from Y Combinator, Sendbird CEO John S. Kim, ContainIQ CEO Nate Matherson, and Xenon Partners. This brings total funding to $2.63 million.s

Building next-generation CRM for next-generation companies

Almost every workplace software category is disrupted by the "consumerization of the enterprise." For example, Slack made work convos much more casual. The issue-tracking tool Atlassian Jira is being disrupted by Linear. And Figma changed everything about the way we design. But CRM is still yet to be "consumerized."

Relate takes on the traditional CRM industry by making it easy for everyone to collaborate on sales and customers. It is a simple, easy-to-use CRM built for everyone, not just salespeople.

Relate's co-founder and CEO Sangyong Jung said that "Figma completely changed how we design software. Before Figma, only designers had access to design. Figma changed that. Figma made design much more accessible, transparent, and collaborative. We want to do the same in the sales and customer management space. We want to make CRM collaborative across the entire organization."

It's designed to be simple and easy-to-use

Most traditional CRM features are targeted toward enterprise companies. They are overbuilt for most small businesses and growing startups. It's slow, dull, and, most importantly, boring.

Instead, most SMBs and startups need an easy-to-use CRM that is simple, fast, and collaborative. Using CRM should be as delightful as using Slack and Figma.

Relate is simple and designed to be super easy. Anyone with a basic experience in spreadsheets and Trello can pick up Relate and start using it right away.

Relate also makes CRM delightful. It has features such as Command+K to easily navigate between accounts and automatic revenue tracking for sales managers. The team plans to continue focusing on making the product simple and delightful.

Making sales more collaborative

Relate enables sales teams to collaborate much more efficiently while housing all customer-related communication under one roof. You can make private comments on emails you exchange, meeting notes your colleagues share, and deal opportunities you take through the pipeline. It has a central inbox that feeds everything you need to know about sales and customers so that you don't miss anything.

It also has a link-sharing feature so sales teams can easily share meeting notes and customer updates throughout their organization.

Going after underserved markets first

The global CRM market is approximately $120 billion, yet most companies still use spreadsheets as their primary tool for managing sales and customers.

And thousands of companies are still dependent on legacy CRM software that does not fit into how companies deliver sales today.

Instead of competing with Salesforce from Day 1 - Relate's strategy focuses on serving the underserved - especially companies in APAC.

In Korea alone, Relate already serves around 50 well-known technology companies such as Kleiner Perkins-backed Toss (Viva Republica) and 500 Startups-backed PUBLY.

Relate is currently under private beta with plans to launch publicly later this year and expand its reach to the US and APAC markets such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Hyungjoon Yang, an investor with Bass Investment, said, "as sales became more complicated than ever, it requires much more thoughtful communication and collaboration between cross-functional teams across the company. Traditional CRMs no longer fully support the way sales teams sell to their customers."

He also commented that "the Relate team has relentlessly pivoted five times to find product/market-fit for three years. With this newfound opportunity, we are confident that they will disrupt the global CRM industry."