Final fall, social analytics startup SocialRank sold its product and business to Trufan, permitting the crew to give attention to one thing new: knowledgeable social community. Immediately, they’re formally unveiling Upstream to the general public.
To be clear, CEO Alex Taub informed me that he’s not making an attempt to switch LinkedIn — he acknowledged that because of community results,”If you wish to go and attempt to take down LinkedIn, you’re not going to have the ability to take them down.”
As an alternative, the objective is to create one thing that fulfills a distinct want. The place LinkedIn works primarily as a web-based résumé and rolodex, Upstream goals to assist customers construct the connections and relationships which are vital to their careers — one thing that’s sorely wanted at a time when large-scale meetups and conferences aren’t actually attainable (although we’re actually making an attempt to create the digital equal at TechCrunch).
“That is the place on your skilled social life,” Taub stated.
Upstream’s first product targeted on skilled teams and communities, permitting customers to put up what the corporate referred to as Skilled Asks, like in the event that they’re trying to rent somebody for a sure place or want an introduction at one other firm.
Taub prompt that issues actually took off with Upstream’s subsequent product, Upstream Occasions, the place Upstream would host a visitor speaker, then attendees had been matched up for five-minute, one-on-one video chats with the opposite individuals on the occasion.
Upstream says it’s already hosted greater than 100 occasions, with 72% of people that who attend one occasion subsequently attending one other.
Whereas the crew has constructed a number of merchandise (and we’ve covered some of them already), they’re outlining the broader imaginative and prescient right now and launching some new options on the similar time.
For one factor, whereas communities had been beforehand shared through a non-public, unlisted hyperlink, now you can browse all of the totally different communities in a Discovery part. On the similar time, group organizers will likely be nonetheless be capable to management who joins by approving or rejecting new members.
There’s additionally a brand new spin on Occasions referred to as Workplace Hours, permitting customers to put aside structured time for digital one-on-one periods with anybody who’s excited about chatting with them. These periods may be listed publicly, or they are often unlisted, so that you simply solely share them through e mail or inside a sure group.
In a blog post, Taub famous that he met his SocialRank/Upstream co-founder and CTO Michael Schonfeld through Ohours.org, they usually’re making an attempt to copy that have right here:
Let’s say you’re the CMO of a giant firm and also you need to give your individuals the chance to fulfill 1:1. The considered coordinating the person scheduling of ten minute blocks utilizing your Outlook calendar and e mail shouldn’t be engaging. However with Upstream, you’ll be able to select the 30min block you need to supply and the way lengthy you need the periods to be. You determine you need to run your workplace hours each different Friday at 2pm ET for the remainder of the yr. The occasion is constructed and in a position to be shared seamlessly to whoever you select to supply the Workplace Hours to.
In actual fact, Taub’s put up lists greater than 30 totally different people who find themselves already providing workplace hours on Upstream, together with New York Instances reporter Taylor Lorenz, Foursquare co-founder/Expa companion Naveen Selvadurai and Amazon Picture Head of Product Nate Westheiemer.
Upstream can be asserting that it has raised an undisclosed quantity of pre-seed funding from 8-Bit Capital, Human Ventures, Basement Fund, NYVP and varied angel buyers.
Trying forward, Taub stated that the subsequent large precedence is launching an internet model of Upstream (which is at the moment out there through cellular app), and to proceed constructing reside experiences, asynchronous experiences and options that present actual utility.
“We think about a future when professionals come to Upstream for an occasion or Ask, and keep for the compelling alternatives that make Upstream an energizing and helpful expertise for them,” he wrote.