There's no denying the popularity of chat tools in the enterprise. But, some of the latest and greatest enterprise chat clients have UI or features that can be lost on the average user.
Pie, a Singapore-based startup, is aiming to bring chat to users who may not consider themselves tech-savvy with a simple, intuitive design. The company just raised a $1.2 million Series A round on June 4 to kickstart the paid version of its app and begin monetizing the product, according to a press release.
"We believe the real blue ocean opportunity of enterprise messaging lies in a simple offering with the same broad appeal as popular consumer apps," Pie co-founder Pieter Walraven said in the press release.
There is a free version available now, but the paid version will cost $3.14159 per user per month and include some administrator tools and features, according to TechCrunch.
Users can chat 1-on-1 or in groups, and they can share gifs, pictures, videos, music, files, @mentions, link summaries, and emoji. Despite its consumer-style approach, the app offers enterprise level security.
The Series A round was led by GREE Ventures and included participation from previous investors. The investment follows an $800,000 seed round that Pie raised in the summer of 2014.
The service is available on iOS (including Apple Watch), Android, Mac, and the web. Pie also offer integrations with popular enterprise tools such as Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox.
Pie is one of many new niche messaging apps for organizations that address a specific need. For Pie, it's simplicity but other tools like Confide are addressing security and Red e App is addressing the non-desk workforce.
The recent round might help bolster the company's growth and scalability, but there's no denying Pie is playing in a crowded market with some serious competition. Slack, for example, was recently valued close to $3 billion dollars, which means this is going to be a hard fight for any newcomer to the space.