My god, can you believe we made it through 2022? Just like everyone in these truly unfathomable times, we still had to contend with some work-based wildness that carried over from the previous two years. And, also just like everyone else, we did our very best to find the right configuration of a cobbled-together suite of tools that works for our (starting to become less-new) remote reality. This past year, several companies made the push to try and bring folks back into the office, and by all accounts, people aren’t keen. As a workforce, we overwhelmingly like what remote-first offers us, in terms of schedule flexibility, productivity, and general work-life balance… it’s just the tools that need to catch up. That’s why we’re working on Tangle, to try and smooth the rough edges on this here new paradigm, by focusing on how to make remote collaboration more easy and intuitive. We revamped the entire look and feel of Tangle! We rebuilt the foundations of the app to be more secure, stable, and scalable! We opened up the app for Early Access (and you can sign up here)! We’re proud of all we’ve done so here’s a lil’ look back on how far we’ve come this year, and a little future visioning on what’s for us next.
It Sure is 2022 innit?
2022 started for us…a little quiet. We raised our seed round in the latter half of 2021 having demonstrated our proof-of concept of the design of Tangle– that intuitive, seamless communication is imperative to maintain studio culture. Going into the beginning of this year, we needed to turn inwards for a bit to transform our app from functional prototype to scalable (and MUCH more stable) Real Life Client. We rebuilt the entire engineering foundation, a project we called TangleToo, using our original prototype as our magnetic north. During this time, our Design team was doing deep dives on palette design, early accessibility work, UI redesign tests, and UX research. We wanted to bring Tangle to everyone, but we also wanted to make sure that we were taking the time to do so thoughtfully.
While we were hard at work rebuilding the experience, the external Tangle client was in stasis. Still, our alpha teams were giving us real life examples, feedback, and use cases that were heckin’ crucial in helping us develop an experience that worked for more people than just us. I cannot thank our alpha teams enough for their boundless support, enthusiasm, and belief in us: Matt and the whole precious team at Lightforge, Neal and the Skymap team, and so many more.
However by the end of the summer, we popped right back into the fray! We released our fully rebuilt Tangle platform to our alpha teams to put it through its paces (and again, we cannot thank you ENOUGH for loving us through both our growing pains and painful bugs). We released Tangle for Early Access! We closed $4.6 million of additional funding, for over $10 million total raised to date from both existing and new investors during an absurdly difficult investment time, which was a mind-boggling honor and a testament to the belief in our team and our vision. We started going out and talking about Tangle– here’s Alex speaking at the Montgomery Summit, and here I am doing an interview for Authority Magazine. We rebranded literally everything, from a logo to ze website, and released our first product demo.
We’ve grown to 25+ humans, additional contractors, and friends who are helping us build the thing. We’ve added a bunch of new features in our newest Early Access build, including a host of avatar updates including robust avatar customization, puppetable avatars, and flappy mouth audio detection. We just released another product demo video because one wasn’t enough. And ya’ll have supported us throughout it all– we’re up to nearly 1,000 early access signups, showing that what we’re building is resonant with you too.
Time isn’t stopping and neither can we. We have more we’re excited about in the new year and can’t wait to share it with all of you. We’ll be ramping up our early access team onboarding, so keep an eye on your inbox for your invites and more content. We’ve got another big Early Access build update coming in 2023 with bringing in outside links, updated UIs, enhanced room layouts and user panels, and beefed up visuals. We’ll be rolling out General Access later in the year, which we are over the moon about and cannot wait for every single person to be able to access and use Tangle to connect with their teams. And in the meantime, you’ll be seeing more of me and Alex out in the world! We’re attending a few events throughout the year, and we’re definitely keen to hang out and chat. And I’ll be blogging away all through next year as well, so if you can’t meet up in person, you can always follow along with what we’re doing on the blog.
I’m so excited for all that’s coming in 2023, and cannot wait to connect with the community more as we bring Tangle to everyone. Remember, to learn more about Tangle or sign up for Early Access, head over to our website. In the meantime, please have a restful and wonderful winter, and a lovely new year!