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Mentessa raises €1M in seed to change the way we work

The Munich-based startup has captured the attention of VCs as it takes on Slack, flipping the paradigm of collaboration - from process to purpose. Read more.

February 28, 2021
November 13, 2022
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The purpose of organizations: Mentessa raises €1M in seed to change the way we work

  • Mentessa, the platform that connects organizations for learning and collaboration based on skills, closed a €1M seed round, following its growth during the pandemic.
  • The Munich-based startup has captured the attention of VCs as it takes on Slack.
  • The round is led by Eleven Ventures - a fund with a growing track record of unicorns on the rise such as Payhawk and Gtmhub.
  • Mentessa bootstrapped its first year on the market, posting significant traction with public companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Linde, and OTPbank.
  • A limited number of German and international business angels are joining the round in a second closing to further support the company’s mission to remove boundaries for mentorship and collaboration for everyone in the workplace.

Mentessa, the platform that connects organizations for know-how exchange and collaboration based on skills, has closed a seed round of €1M. The Munich-based startup has captured the attention of VCs as it takes on Slack, flipping the paradigm of collaboration - from process to purpose, and from “one-to-many” communication to peer-to-peer exchange. On its mission to remove barriers to diversity and collaboration for everyone in the workplace, Mentessa takes a unique approach to social, without media: building a community with no content, ensuring authentic data, and inclusive collaboration across organizational boundaries.

The inclusive workplace is top of agenda as companies struggle with hiring new talent. Yet, once hired, new employees often need months to actually begin contributing with their expertise. Sometimes, they would leave sooner than they had the chance to do so. The rise of remote work showed that emails, messengers, and the intranet are not enough to integrate talent. New hires, but also diverse employees, lack an opportunity to connect with people, get guidance, and experience the essence of an organization in the home office. The current corporate tech stack misses a “people layer” that centers around the individual employee experience, and creates a safe and flexible space for informal exchange in the new normal.

Mentessa solves the problem with a next-gen community, an internal network of skills, that helps bring employees along, navigate culture, and collaborate - throughout their entire journey and with the entire organization. The people-fist app empowers employees to find the right peer at the right time, learn from each other, and share experience. Smart algorithms help colleagues overcome psychological barriers and purposely connect with others beyond hierarchy, location, or bias. Thanks to a new approach to skills Mentessa provides authentic information on who can do what, as well as on the current needs of employees. This dual value proposition helps companies plan for the unknown, and employees realize their full potential.

After only one year on the market, Mentessa has secured a number of customers such as Deutsche Telekom, Linde, or OTPbank, spanning across several countries. More than 5000 people use Mentessa in different organizations and communities to find a mentor, advance their career, or share their experience. Having validated the product-market fit, the female-led team is ready to accelerate. Next to prominent networks and the media, Mentessa was recently endorsed by NASDAQ for creating equal opportunities for everyone in the workplace.

The seed round is led by Sofia-based fund Eleven Ventures who invested €1M in the startup. Eleven Ventures has a strong track record of first check investments in unicorns on the rise such as Payhawk (which raised a $112 million at a $570 million valuation in November 2021) or Gtmhub (which raised a $120 million Series C in December 2021). A limited number of German and international business angels are joining the round in a second closing.

Valeri Petrov, Partner at Eleven Ventures said, "The good old problem of integrating, onboarding people and building bonds internally has not been solved but rather has been exacerbated by COVID-19. Tina and Andrey are very experienced and highly knowledgeable co-founders which represent the “perfect match” – a successful serial entrepreneur with deep and extensive understanding of the industry and highly experienced tech professional with background in some of the largest global organisations like Microsoft and Amazon. We are excited to be joining Mentessa, supporting Tina and Andrey on their journey of improving employee onboarding, integration and engagement across organizations worldwide."

Tina Ruseva, CEO and Founder at Mentessa, said, "Work is really not about checking boxes, running processes, or climbing the hierarchy ladder. The purpose of organizations is to bring people together so they can solve meaningful problems, better and faster, learn from each other, grow, innovate, and create new opportunities.”

Andrey Andreev, CTO and Co-founder, said, “Today’s organization requires every skill, every strength, every experience. As innovation happens at the intersection of different disciplines, removing information silos and barriers to collaboration are the only way to tap into the collective intelligence of the most intelligent species on Earth - us, and solve the global challenges ahead."

About Mentessa

Mentessa is a software company based in Munich on the mission to remove barriers to diversity and collaboration for everyone in the workplace. Founded in 2019, in 2020 the company launched a new kind of platform empowering people at work to find & share skills with their community, rather than simply communicating with each other. Taking on Slack as a market leader for decentralized collaboration, the diverse team of the female-led company is committed to creating a new way of people collaboration - inclusive, purpose-driven, and sustainable: "Where the future works". In 2021 Mentessa was endorsed by NASDAQ for supporting the SDG agenda and creating equal opportunities for everyone in the workplace.

About Eleven Ventures

Eleven Ventures is one of the leading early-stage VCs in Southeast Europe, investing in startups since 2012. With 150 collective investments over 9 years, Eleven’s team has been instrumental in catalysing the regional startup ecosystem. Eleven supports tech companies in five priority verticals - Fintech, Healthcare, Future of Work, Future of Food and Ecomtech. Some of the startups which Eleven has backed include Payhawk, Gtmhub, Dronamics, SMSBump, Kanbanize and Nitropack.

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