Business telecom startup Spoke Phone has raised $6.7 million in Series A funding, led by Sydney private VC firm Marbruck Investments, supported by New Zealand-based Icehouse Ventures and Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund.
Spoke Phone seeks to do away with the office desk phone, with a cloud-based, mobile-first strategy and is the only venture to create VoIP (Voice over Internet calling) solutions designed specifically for mobile.
With senior execs such as Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff running his $143 billion company from his phone Spoke Phone co-founders Jason Kerr and Kieron Lawson are positioning their startup to be at the forefront of the digital transformation coming to business.
“Current phone systems are designed for desk users, not mobile users. They have significant limitations and with advances such as 5G and better battery life, a mobile-first future is within sight,” Kerr said.
“With 50% of the workforce expected to be mobile or remote by 2025, enterprises need to enable workers with fully-integrated mobile-first business tools.”
The cash injection will go towards enhancing the existing product, accelerating expansion in Australia and the US, and commercialise Spoke Phone for enterprise, which helps large customers on legacy phone systems migrate to the cloud without facing significant business disruption, cost, and risk.
Kerr cited an insurance company that recently became a customer as an example of how it works.
“As a large insurance provider, they could not risk making a wholesale change to their phone system. Retraining employees, rolling out new hardware, and changing the customer experience all at the same time, is just too much risk,” he said.
“They were able to implement Spoke Phone over top of their legacy phone system while also integrating with Twilio and Amazon as part of their larger cloud migration journey.”
Marbruck Investments partner Lachlan Clough said one of the riskiest and most disruptive cloud transformations companies face is how to get off their legacy phone system.
“We invested in Spoke Phone because their technology gives companies a risk-free and non-disruptive way to gently migrate legacy phone systems to the cloud,” he said.
Spoke Phone was founded in late 2016 and has more than 600 customers, including Dymocks in Australia, Netball New Zealand, and Raymond James Financial Services in the US.