A.Team Comes Out of Stealth With $60M in Funding to Rethink Tech’s Talent Crisis With Elite Cloud-Based Teams, Backed by A-List Investors
NEW YORK, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- A.Team, the first members-only network of the world's top product builders, came out of stealth mode today and announced a $55M Series A financing round co-led by Tiger Global Management, Insight Partners, and Spruce Capital Partners, on top of a previous $5M seed round. While in stealth, A.Team assembled 4,000 of the world's best product builders, and empowered 250+ companies to overcome hiring challenges by equipping them with expert, cloud-based teams to accelerate product development.
With today's announcement, A.Team is now opening up to serve more companies on its waitlist, and inviting companies with meaningful product missions to request access to its team formation platform. A.Team will be making big investments in creating an upside-sharing ecosystem to build a home for the world's best product builders, as well as its TeamGraph technology, which applies behavioral science to assemble teams with the optimal skill set for a company's product mission.
A.Team was born in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the need for remote, on-demand teams with the skills to quickly develop solutions in real-time. Early adopters include McGraw Hill, eToro, Morgan & Morgan, and Chief, and a host of startup, growth, and enterprise companies that have grown rapidly since the onset of the pandemic. While invite-only, A.Team has grown 7x in the past year due to the increased demand for ready-to-deploy tech talent.
The need for skilled product builders has ballooned as the Great Reconsideration set off an unprecedented attrition rate, particularly in tech. In fact, data shows 72% of employees working in tech/IT roles are thinking of quitting their job in the next 12 months, compared to 55% of the overall workforce. As a result, companies are lost between hiring freelancers and expensive, outdated firms. With 36% of all workers now freelance, and 53% of those workers offering in-demand skills like computer programming and IT, these companies are missing a lucrative opportunity to deploy highly-skilled freelance teams.
"We founded A.Team because there's nothing more powerful than having the freedom to choose to work on problems that matter to you with people you love to work with," said CEO and co-founder Raphael Ouzan. "Every idea that's ever changed the world has had a great team behind it. Yet, teams—the core unit of work in the knowledge economy—has never been optimized with technology. With cloud-based teams, we're unlocking the ability for highly-skilled professionals to escape rigid structures and team up to do the most meaningful work of their career—and transform the way that companies build in the process."
Enter the Gig Economy's Successor: The Builder Economy
As talent challenges exhaust company resources and slow product development, A.Team is introducing the Builder Economy in the form of "cloud-based teams." A.Team views the Builder Economy as a successor of the gig economy, driven by highly-skilled independent product builders (engineers, product managers, designers, data scientists, and marketers) who want the freedom and flexibility to build things they care about with people they like. These builders assemble into cross-functional, distributed "cloud-based teams" that embed seamlessly into a company's internal structure.
With an invite-only network of over 4,000 top product builders, deploying an A.Team is like leasing a luxury car—guaranteed high performance with low-maintenance. These teams are elastic, meaning a company can scale their team up or down depending on the expertise or scope during any given stage of product development.
"A.Team is the rare startup that could fundamentally change how we work," said A.Team advisor, organizational psychologist, and bestselling author Adam Grant. "COVID made it clear that we need to rethink work, but it's much bigger than just letting people work from anywhere. A.Team is reinventing the way we organize in the knowledge and creative economy by empowering people to pick their projects and teammates—and empowering companies to hire top talent on-demand. Instead of selling your soul to one company, you can rent your skills to the highest bidder or the highest purpose."
Investors also agree that A.Team is transforming the way companies build and the way we work. Jeff Horing, co-founder of Insight Partners and A.Team board member, said, "The way we work is changing and traditional workforce structures are holding companies back from building and innovating. We're fully-aligned with A.Team's vision to disrupt traditional talent models and accelerate product development across the tech universe."
Empowering Companies to Build Like a Unicorn
A.Team allows companies to instantly supercharge existing teams or tackle new product initiatives, and access a talent ecosystem where they can scale resources up and down—allowing them to build a truly elastic workforce of the future—and escape the hiring hell and broken talent model of the present.
"The one question we always ask our clients is: What would you do if your company had the world's best product builders assemble for your most important initiatives?" added Ouzan. "When you open yourself up to answering that question, you unlock limitless possibilities."
Before A.Team, Apprentice (a BioTech company pivotal in COVID-19 vaccine supply chains) was competing with tech giants like Google and Facebook for great builders. CEO Angelo Stracquatanio tried piecing together a combination of agencies, contractors, and internal hires, but was never quite satisfied with the quality, skill-level, flexibility, or cost-effectiveness required to compete in today's dynamic environment. He found the solution he was looking for with A.Team.
Stracquatanio explained, "To keep up with the demand of the COVID-19 vaccine, we needed to get our product to market yesterday. We had our A.Team deployed in a few days, ramped up immediately — and our product launched just over a month later. That would have been impossible with other hiring alternatives. The healthtech space is a difficult one to staff because it's so specialized. You need domain experience — builders who've built what you're building before. With A.Team, we did this with a team of 50+ engineers. And fast."
Giving Product Builders the Freedom & Autonomy They Need to Do Their Best Work
Recent data from LinkedIn suggests now more than ever that flexibility is a key criteria for job searches, with 63% of applicants calling it a top priority. This is part of A.Team's DNA. A.Team's network of independent builders —who come from fast-growing startups to big tech giants like Facebook, Google and SpaceX—can choose which teams and product missions to work on, and scale their work lives up-and-down based on their desired work-life balance. A.Team also ensures that builders are compensated fairly and on-time, with a $130/hr average hourly rate paid consistently every two weeks—a much higher benchmark than rates offered at traditional gig economy platforms, which focus on task-based work.
Renowned iOS app developer and former Calvin Klein model Lyndsey Scott chronicles her experience as an A.Teamer. "When I left modeling and moved to LA for my acting career about 7 years ago, I called upon my iOS programming skills to make ends meet during the transition. Since then, I've worked from home as an independent contractor for many startups while still having full flexibility for classes, auditions, and bookings. When A.Team came along during the pandemic, it felt like a godsend! I was worried about the economy being so uncertain, but A.Team has been able to capitalize on the work from home trend and consistently find great contracts for me — 4 so far! I'm currently leading a team of A.Team mobile developers for a multi-billion dollar established company and that sort of remote contract work was basically non-existent before the pandemic."
The Future of Work —In the Cloud
With its public launch, A.Team plans to scale its present-day $42M GMV exponentially by continuing to grow its builder network and investing in its demand growth initiatives. The Series A brings the total funding raised by A.Team to $60M to date, with previous investments from an earlier, unannounced $5M seed round.
Builders can apply to A.Team as a team or as an individual. Once accepted into the A.Team network through a rigorous vetting process, they can begin exploring the team-centric platform, create a team with people they like working with, or join an ad-hoc team as an individual for a company mission.
The vetting process is built on trusted referrals and successful track records. A.Teamers join the platform through a robust application process, technical interviews, and algorithmic evaluation, as well as A.Team's natural network effect—many top product builders join the network because they were invited by a former teammate who wants them on their A.Team. After the initial vetting phase, A.Teamers are constantly evaluated via A.Team's Team Pulse feature as they actively work on missions. Over time, A.Team learns from their experience, skills, and teamwork experience to intelligently recommend the missions and teammates they'll enjoy working with most.
A.Team is the first members-only network of the world's top engineers, product managers, designers, and marketing talent, designed to help growing companies accelerate product development through the power of great teams. A.Teamers come together as cloud-based, modular teams to work on problems they care about for forward-thinking companies—with the freedom, flexibility, and autonomy they crave. For more information please visit a.team.