This smart calendar startup from a former Salesforce engineer just raised $18 million to help users rearrange meetings so they have more time to go 'heads down' on work


Clockwise cofounders Gary Lerhaupt Matt Martin

  • After seeing how hard it was to find time to focus on work in a sea of meetings while an engineer at RelateIQ and Salesforce, Matt Martin started Clockwise to help office workers manage their time more effectively. 
  • Clockwise is a smart calendar extension that works with GSuite’s Google Calendar and moves around meetings based on users’ preferences to create large blocks of time to focus on work. 
  • The company just raised an $18 million Series B funding round. The company declined to share its valuation but said it has increased 3x from its previous funding round last June, when Pitchbook estimated its value at $37 million. 
  • The company is going to use the funding to build an integration with Office 365’s Outlook Calendar, launch a paid plan with added features, and continue to hire and build its team.
  • Its getting a boost from the remote work era: It saw an 87% increase in signups since the beginning of 2020. 
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When Matt Martin was an engineer at big data startup RelateIQ he, and his colleagues often ran into the same problem: They were inundated with meetings and struggling to find time to do their actual work.

The problem continued after Salesforce acquired RelateIQ in 2014: For example, as an engineering manager at Salesforce, Martin saw that one of his best employees was often having to take work home. When looking at the engineer’s calendar, he realized that the man’s day was so full of meetings that he didn’t have large blocks of time to go “heads down” and work. 

That led Martin to realize that this was an issue plaguing employees regardless of where they worked, giving him the idea for a smart calendar extension to helps people schedule their work lives more effectively. He left Salesforce in 2016 to start Clockwise along with his current cofounders Gary Lerhaupt and Mike Grinolds. 

Four years later Clockwise has started to make a name for itself in Silicon Valley, with fans at Slack, Asana, and Spotify. The company intends to keep the momentum going and just raised $18 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with existing investors Accel and Greylock participating as well, bringing its total funding to $31.6 million. 

While Martin declined to share Clockwise’s valuation, he said that it increased 3x from its previous funding round last June. Pitchbook estimated a $37 million valuation at the time, which would give Clockwise a roughly $111 million valuation now.

The new funding will be used to expand the product and launch a paid plan — right now, it’s free and works exclusively with GSuite — and grow the team from 20 people. 

Clockwise Team analytics

Growth in the remote work era and long term product vision

The basic idea of Clockwise is to give workers more time to focus. Its extension can analyze someone’s calendar and try to figure out the best times to schedule meetings in order to leave big blocks of time open. 

After adding Clockwise, users can set preferences for things like which meetings can be moved and which ones need to stay at the current time. 

“Time as a shared resource inside the modern workplace is really a tragedy of the commons where everybody is able to take from each other, but nobody’s watching out for that shared resource,” Martin told Business Insider. “And so we started Clockwise in order to create a software system that uses the intelligence coming out of calendar, out of communications, out of things like Slack to better manage that shared resource.” 

While the company was already gaining traction before the pandemic, this new era of remote work has accelerated its growth even more, Martin said. The company has seen an 87% increase in signups since the beginning of 2020. (The company declined to share user numbers but said that it has helped “optimize” 200,000 calendars to-date.)

As businesses look for software to help employees coordinate work better while being remote, Clockwise is launching new time management features. For example, the new features can help teams see how much non-meeting time every individual employee has to check if anyone is getting particularly swamped. It can also forecast productivity and set aside “no meeting” days on people’s calendars. 

Right now, Clockwise only integrates with Google Calendar on a desktop and is available for GSuite customers. The next step will be building an integration with Office 365 and Outlook Calendar.

In order to be truly effective, Clockwise also has to be able work between platforms, Martin said. For example, it should be able to schedule a meeting between someone who used Google Calendar and someone who uses Microsoft Outlook. That’s something the company is also working on developing.

While Microsoft and Google are the most well known and widely used calendar apps, there are others like Calendly that help people schedule time. The long term goal is for Clockwise to integrate with all the tools people use at work to get things done, so it can help them use their time most efficiently, Martin said.

Right now the only non-calendar app it integrates with is Slack. 

Clockwise plans to launch its paid plan this summer, with which will have features that users can’t get on the current free option. 

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