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Riff raises $1.5M seed led by Balderton for its ‘voice-first’ chat tool for remote working

Riff, a London-based startup developing what it describes as a “voice-first” chat tool for remote working, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, prior to a full launch next year.
Leading the round is Balderton Capital, which is better known for Series A round but quite often does seed investments on the quiet. Also participating is Seedcamp and various angels, including Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, COO of GoCardless, Nicolas Brusson, CEO of BlaBlaCar and Tim Sadler, CEO of Tessian.
Founded by CEO Isabel Bescos, who was former head of corporate strategy at BlaBlaCar, and a former member of Balderton’s investment team, and CTO Matthew Scheybeler, who co-founded blinkx, Riff wants to solve many of the pain points felt by teams trying to communicate across different locations. While tools like Slack and Zoom are built first for text and video, respectively, Bescos and Scheybeler think audio is the missing piece of the puzzle, but used in a way that encourages the spontaneity and serendipity experienced by in-person teams.
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