LaunchNotes looks to transform how software product teams communicate changes to customers – TechCrunch
When LaunchNotes founders, Jake Brereton and Tyler Davis were working together at Atlassian, they noticed that it was often difficult to communicate changes from the development teams to product teams and other internal and external audiences.
The internal teams needed to understand what was coming, and if the changes were substantial or not, whether that’s marketing, sales, support or any other department that was working with customers. The customers needed to know what has changed and how it affected them. This has typically been done via release notes, but the founders saw these as static and inadequate to communicate fully to the various stakeholders what they needed to know about the latest release.
What’s more, with modern development approaches the rapid rate of changes, some small, some not, often involving dozens or even hundreds of changes per day, made keeping up challenging.
Brereton and Davis saw an opportunity to improve this process and deliver release information to various parties with the information they needed to see and no more. They left Atlassian in 2019 and started LaunchNotes to fulfill that goal.
“For the last two years at LaunchNotes, we’ve been focusing on product change communication at a very high level. Tyler and I had a thesis coming out of Atlassian that as development teams continue to pick up speed, and roll things out faster and more efficiently, there was a growing need to to align and coordinate the rest of the organization and specifically the end users with all of that change,” Brereton told me.
As they built that tool over the last few years, they had a broader vision to build a platform for product teams to communicate around product changes, what they are calling a product success platform. “Our vision for a product success platform is to connect the core parts of the development cycle — such as comms, feedback and planning — into one platform,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the launch of the platform today.
Brereton believes his company is alone in having this kind of vision, and they are helping to define an entirely new category. “This is the first of its kind and we believe product success will grow into a large and exciting new software category,” he said.
The approach seems to be working. Last year, the company reported 650% revenue growth with 300% new customer growth, reaching over 500,000 users per month.
The company sees this as a customer experience or success kind of tool, and that will include getting feedback from the customers as a key part of the product. “Customer feedback in the voice of the customer is a major tenet with LaunchNotes. And we believe that integration of customer feedback is absolutely vital to every stage of the product development lifecycle,” Davis said. The company plans to automate that in some ways by building connectors to various customer data applications such as the company CRM, Slack and Intercom and other tools they are building connections to from LaunchNotes.
Davis actually founded the company in 2019 before bringing in Brereton shortly after. They produced version 1 of the product in May 2020. The company recently increased headcount from 8 to 15, but plan to watch things closely before hiring additional people.
The two founders say that they learned a lot about diversity working at Atlassian. “Atlassian was an incredible experience because, in large part due to the diverse nature of the company, not only just geographically but also team diversity. And that’s something that we have very much leaned into with LaunchNotes and how we’ve developed and extended our team, and we’re going to continue to do that. I think that’s an essential part of building a strong healthy culture within a company,” Davis said.
The company had other big news today announcing a $15 million Series A to help build out the platform vision they have. The round was led by Insight Partners, with participation from Atlassian Ventures, The New Normal Fund, Essence VC and a slew of industry angels. Seed investors Cowboy Ventures and Bull City Venture Partners also joined the round.
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