Australian startup Pyn raises $8M seed to bring targeted communication in-house









Australian startup Pyn raises $8M seed to bring targeted communication in-house – TechCrunch











































Australian startup Pyn raises $8M seed to bring targeted communication in-house

Most marketers today know how to send targeted communications to customers, and there are many tools to help, but when it comes to sending personalized in-house messages, there aren’t nearly as many options. Pyn, an early-stage startup based in Australia, wants to change that, and today it announced an $8 million seed round.

Andreessen Horowitz led the investment with help from Accel and Ryan Sanders (the co-founder of BambooHR) and Scott Farquhar (co-founder and co-CEO at Atlassian).

That last one isn’t a coincidence, as Pyn co-founder and CEO Joris Luijke used to run HR at the company and later at Squarespace and other companies, and he saw a common problem trying to provide more targeted messages when communicating internally.

“I’ve been trying to do this my entire professional life, trying to personalize the communication that we’re sending to our people. So that’s what Pyn does. In a nutshell, we radically personalize employee communications,” Luijke explained. His co-founder Jon Williams was previously a co-founder at Culture Amp, an employee experience management platform he helped launch in 2011 (and which raised more than $150 million), so the two of them have been immersed in this idea.

They bring personalization to Pyn by tracking information in existing systems that companies already use, such as Workday, BambooHR, Salesforce or Zendesk, and they can use this data much in the same way a marketer uses various types of information to send more personalized messages to customers.

That means you can cut down on the company-wide emails that might not be relevant to everyone and send messages that should matter more to the people receiving them. And as with a marketing communications tool, you can track how many people have opened the emails and how successful you were in hitting the mark.

David Ulevitch, general partner at a16z and lead investor in this deal, points out that Pyn also provides a library of customizable communications materials to help build culture and set policy across an organization. “It also treats employee communication channels as the rails upon which to orchestrate management practices across an organization [by delivering] a library of management playbooks,” Ulevitch wrote in a blog post announcing the investment.

The startup, which launched in 2019, currently has 10 employees, with teams working in Australia and the Bay Area in California. Williams says that already half the team is female and the plan is to continue putting diversity front and center as they build the company.

“Joris has mentioned ‘radical personalization’ as this specific mantra that we have, and I think if you translate that into an organization, that is all about inclusion in reality, and if we want to be able to cater for all the specific needs of people, we need to understand them. So [diversity is essential] to us,” Williams said.

While the company isn’t ready to discuss specifics in terms of customer numbers, it cites Shopify, Rubrik and Carta as early customers, and the founders say there was a lot of interest when the pandemic hit last year and the need for more frequent and meaningful types of communication became even more paramount.

 












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The goal seems to be to integrate safety principles into the existing priority system of AI development that generally favors efficiency and power. Like any other industry, it’s easier and more effective to incorporate something from the beginning than to bolt it on at the end. Attempting to make some of the biggest models out there able to be picked apart and understood may be more work than building them in the first place. Anthropic seems to be starting fresh.

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“Anthropicu2019s goal is to make the fundamental research advances that will let us build more capable, general, and reliable AI systems, then deploy these systems in a way that benefits people,” said Dario Amodei, CEO of the new venture, in a short post announcing the company and its $124 million in funding.

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That funding, by the way, is as star-studded as you might expect. It was led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and included James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, Eric Schmidt and the Center for Emerging Risk Research, among others.

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The company is a public benefit corporation, and the plan for now, as the limited information on the site suggests, is to remain heads-down on researching these fundamental questions of how to make large models more tractable and interpretable. We can expect more information later this year, perhaps, as the mission and team coalesces and initial results pan out.

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The name, incidentally, is adjacent to anthropocentric, and concerns relevancy to human experience or existence. Perhaps it derives from the “Anthropic principle,” the notion that intelligent life is possible in the universe because… well, we’re here. If intelligence is inevitable under the right conditions, the company just has to create those conditions.

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Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch.

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Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and share contact details of representatives tasked withu00a0compliance, nodal point of reference and grievance redressals to address on-ground concerns.u00a0

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The aforementioned firms have complied with this requirement, the government note and a person familiar with the matter said. The firms were required to comply with the new IT rules by this week.

n

Twitter has yet to comply with the rules. u201cTwitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer,u201d a note prepared by New Delhi said, adding that the rules require the aforementioned officials to be direct employees.

n

Tension has been brewing between Twitter and the government of India of late. This week, police in Delhi visited Twitter offices to u201cserve a noticeu201d about an investigation into its intel on classifying Indian politiciansu2019 tweets as misleading. Twitter called the move a form of intimidation, cited concerns about its employees and requested the government to respect citizens’ rights to free speech.

n

n

WhatsApp has complied with the aforementioned rules, but not with the requirement about traceability, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. WhatsApp sued the Indian government earlier this week over the requirement about bringing a way to trace the originator of messages. WhatsApp said it would have to compromise every users’ privacy to be able to comply with this rule.

n

It is unclear at this point whether Apple, which operates iMessage, and Signal have complied with the rules.

n

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Wednesday had asked the social media firms for an update on their compliant status, TechCrunch first reported.

n

India is a key overseas market for several technology giants, including Facebook and Google, both of which identify the nation as its biggest market by users. Neighboring nation Pakistan, which had proposed similar rules as India last year, had to withdraw them after tech giants united and threatened to leave the nation.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch. Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and […]

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The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the president located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India.

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Blue, a $3 monthly subscription service, could be coming soon"},"content":{"rendered":"

Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you.
n

n

Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, confirming earlier findings from this unofficial source. Though users canu2019t yet subscribe to Twitter Blue u2013 even after downloading the app update u2013 Wong dug up details about the service, signaling that its launch could be imminent.u00a0u00a0

n

n

In addition to the undo button, which Wong uncovered as early as March, this service will include a reader mode, which turns tweet threads into u201ceasy-to-read text.u201d Twitter acquired Scroll and Revue this year in an effort to improve usersu2019 reading experience on the app, so this addition makes sense. Plus, users will be able to change the color of the Twitter app icon, as well as the color theme of their Timeline, a feature thatu2019s already available on the web. Twitter Blue subscribers can also organize tweets into Collections u2013 this feature looks like an updated version of Bookmarks, but with the added ability to organize tweets into folders.u00a0

n

Currently, Twitter ads make up 85% of the companyu2019s revenue. Twitter told Bloomberg in February that it plans to u201cresearch and experimentu201d with new ways to monetize the platform, especially as its user growth has slowed. But overu00a0the last several months, Twitter has teased some of the platformu2019s biggest changes since doubling the 140-character tweet limit in 2018. These features include Super Follows, Tip Jar, Twitter Spaces, and more.

n

n

This week at J.P. Morganu2019s Global Technology, Media, and Communications conference, Twitter CFO Ned Segal indicated that the company views Twitter Blue and Super Follows as two separate types of subscriptions. On Google Play, the Twitter app page lists an in-app product priced at $4.99 per item, which might indicate the upcoming launch of Super Follows, too. Segal also said that Twitter would offer more information about the service in the coming months, then u201cultimately roll it out to people around the world.u201d

n

Finally, for those of us wondering u2013u00a0no, thereu2019s no indication of plans for an u201cedit tweetu201d button at this time.

n

 

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Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you. Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, […]

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Most marketers today know how to send targeted communications to customers, and there are many tools to help, but when it comes to sending personalized in-house messages, there aren’t nearly as many options. Pyn, an early-stage startup based in Australia, wants to change that, and today it announced an $8 million seed round.

n

Andreessen Horowitz led the investment with help from Accel and Ryan Sanders (the co-founder of BambooHR) and Scott Farquhar (co-founder and co-CEO at Atlassian).

n

That last one isn’t a coincidence, as Pyn co-founder and CEO Joris Luijke used to run HR at the company and later at Squarespace and other companies, and he saw a common problem trying to provide more targeted messages when communicating internally.

n

“I’ve been trying to do this my entire professional life, trying to personalize the communication that we’re sending to our people. So that’s what Pyn does. In a nutshell, we radically personalize employee communications,” Luijke explained. His co-founder Jon Williams was previously a co-founder at Culture Amp, an employee experience management platform he helped launch in 2011 (and which raised more than $150 million), so the two of them have been immersed in this idea.

n

n

They bring personalization to Pyn by tracking information in existing systems that companies already use, such as Workday, BambooHR, Salesforce or Zendesk, and they can use this data much in the same way a marketer uses various types of information to send more personalized messages to customers.

n

That means you can cut down on the company-wide emails that might not be relevant to everyone and send messages that should matter more to the people receiving them. And as with a marketing communications tool, you can track how many people have opened the emails and how successful you were in hitting the mark.

n

David Ulevitch, general partner at a16z and lead investor in this deal, points out that Pyn also provides a library of customizable communications materials to help build culture and set policy across an organization. “It also treats employee communication channels as the rails upon which to orchestrate management practices across an organization [by delivering] a library of management playbooks,” Ulevitch wrote in a blog post announcing the investment.

n

The startup, which launched in 2019, currently has 10 employees, with teams working in Australia and the Bay Area in California. Williams says that already half the team is female and the plan is to continue putting diversity front and center as they build the company.

n

“Joris has mentioned ‘radical personalization’ as this specific mantra that we have, and I think if you translate that into an organization, that is all about inclusion in reality, and if we want to be able to cater for all the specific needs of people, we need to understand them. So [diversity is essential] to us,” Williams said.

n

While the company isn’t ready to discuss specifics in terms of customer numbers, it cites Shopify, Rubrik and Carta as early customers, and the founders say there was a lot of interest when the pandemic hit last year and the need for more frequent and meaningful types of communication became even more paramount.

n

n

 

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Most marketers today know how to send targeted communications to customers, and there are many tools to help, but when it comes to sending personalized in-house messages, there aren’t nearly as many options. Pyn, an early-stage startup based in Australia, wants to change that, and today it announced an $8 million seed round. Andreessen Horowitz […]

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

rnrn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

rnrn

Disclosures:

rnrn

Ron was formerly corporate blogger for Intronis where he wrote once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

","cbAvatar":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/diuuw7dfbczpdwmcpldm.png","twitter":"ron_miller"}],"author":[{"id":521068,"name":"Ron Miller","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/","slug":"ron-miller","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/","twitter":"https://twitter.com/ron_miller","linkedin":"http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronsmiller","facebook":"","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ron-miller"},"position":"Enterprise Reporter","cbDescription":"

Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

rnrn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

rnrn

Disclosures:

rnrn

Ron was formerly corporate blogger for Intronis where he wrote once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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