Paris-based SaaS startup folk raises €2.8 million to reinvent and replace CRMs

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folk, the extended relationships manager (xRM) for centralising, organising and activating contacts, today announced it has raised €2.8 million in seed funding in a round led by Accel and 35 angel investors. With the fresh capital, folk aims to expand its team and continue developing and launching the first version of the product.

Founded in 2020 by Thibaud Elziere, Jean-Yves Poilleux, and Simo Lemhandez within eFounders, folg is on a mission to reinvent and replace CRMs. The team has since grown to 13 employees, and folk’s tool has already attracted 10,000 sign-ups to its waitlist since it launched, with the company now gradually opening up access.

folk was initially developed as an internal tool at eFounders called ContactX, after the team realised that they needed a collaborative platform to help them leverage their network. CRMs, built as a pipeline for sales, were a suboptimal solution when it came to managing investors, journalists, pilots or candidates.

After an initial MVP of the product was built for internal use only, the co-founders realised that the pain of effectively managing contacts wasn’t limited to eFounders alone, but was experienced by almost every team or individual that needed to manage external contacts. This is how the team behind ContactX ended up turning it into an independent company – folk.

Introducing the first xRM software, folk aims to give individuals and teams whose jobs revolve around managing and activating contacts a powerful tool for streamlining their workflows. Versatile by design, folk’s target customers include contact-centric teams such as HR, operations, marketing and sales using the likes of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

folk CEO Thibaud Elziere explained: “Current CRMs are too rigid, hardly customizable, and not enjoyable to use. And they are specifically built for salespeople, leaving out other teams that manage contacts. This is why we’re building folk as a highly customizable software to make it easy for any team to leverage contacts according to their own workflows. It’s not a better CRM, it’s a new type of software we call xRM. In xRM, the “x” stands for anyone: you can use it not only for managing clients but also for journalists, suppliers, partners, for example.”

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