A startup which aims to help people make products more useful has raised £2.6 million in seed funding.

Ribbon was founded by former Gousto product manager Axel Thomson in 2020 after he became disillusioned with how difficult it was to build good and useful software. 

“I experienced first-hand the complexity of ensuring that new features and product changes met the needs of our users… setting up user interviews and product testing with customers would take days,” said the CEO.

“Since we couldn’t easily validate what our customers wanted for each product change we shipped, we started thinking about our product decisions as ‘bets’. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or tooling to gather the data needed to make informed product decisions every time we shipped a new feature, design or product. 

“Unsurprisingly, many of our bets failed to improve our customers’ experience.”

Through speaking with other product managers, designers and user researchers it became clear to Thomson that these were common pain points that “plagued almost every product team”.

“Most teams had experienced failed product launches and wasted countless millions in developer time on products and features that never delivered any value to customers,” he explained.

“There had to be an easier way to build great user experiences by involving your users in the design and development process without compromising on how quickly you can ship your product.”

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Ribbon has been built to make it easier for researchers to gain valuable and contextual insights from real users fast. 

Customers can mix moderated video interviews with in-product survey studies, for example, allowing researchers to target customers with interaction-based surveys across their product journeys in just a few clicks. 

It has also launched a survey library of 20+ templates that customers can use to build surveys more quickly.  

Octopus Ventures led the round with participation from earlier backers MMC Ventures and Concept Ventures. Angel investors also joining the seed include Matt Robinson (founder of GoCardless and Nested), Keith Grose (Head of UK at Plaid), Ross Sheil (SVP Global Revenue at Infogrid) and Felix Leuschner (Group Business Development Director at Cazoo).

“The Ribbon team is now eight people strong, and we’re proud to work with leading global research teams, including those at Dyson, Gousto and Butternut Box,” said Thomson. “With our seed funding, we’re now growing the team further and continuing to improve our user research platform to make it easier than ever to build useful products.”

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