YC Application Summer`24

YC Application Summer`24

Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less

📎
Workspace app for remote-first teams and AI (agents)

If you have a demo, attach it below.

Please provide a link to the product, if relevant.

Followed by login credentials, if required.

📎
https://app.orch.so/ for self-service

What is your company going to make?

Please describe your product and what it does or will do.

📎
Orchestra is a messaging-centric workspace app designed for remote-first teams and their AI-powered agents.

We aim to help hybrid/remote teams to collaborate more effectively, reducing the strain of overwhelming communication, frequent context switching and management transactional costs. With chat-first workflow, managers can convert any team’s conversation into actionable tasks and projects, assigning a responsible person right from the convo. It eliminates the chaos of corporate messaging, enhances team engagement with structured management tools (like tasks management systems, CRMs, ERPs), and provides a natural environment for AI-powered agents.

We believe traditional team workflows fall short in the era of remote-first work. Our mission is to reinvent collaboration for millions of teams, guided by the following principles:

  • Effective Communication at the Core. A work messenger isn't merely for real-time communication but serves as an efficient medium to orchestrate team operations.
  • No collaboration legacy. Messaging at work should be calm and not overwhelmed. Task-management and documentation tools should be always up to date with high team engagement.
  • One place to run all work. By consolidating (and integrating) all communication, task, and documentation tools in one place, we aim to eliminate constant app-switching, loss of focus, and friction.
  • End-User-Centric. In an environment where teams spend substantial time, the tool must be swift, aesthetically pleasing, and intuitive for both: managers and assignees.
  • AI employees. We believe in AI assistants aiding human tasks. Given Orchestra's well structured chat-centric nature, it's optimally designed to weave AI seamlessly into daily operations.

Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?

(List as City A, Country A / City B, Country B.)

📎
Co-founders live in Lisboa, Portugal / Tbilisi, Georgia We are going to base our company in San-Francisco, US

Founders

Please record a one minute video introducing the founder(s).

Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product?

Was any of it done by a non-founder? Please explain.

💻
The initial prototype —an early alpha version— was crafted by founders: Sergie shaped the product vision and made design (he is not designer), Eli handled the rest. Since then we’ve hired own remote devs, that both agile and very cost-effective (while we still bootstrapped). The whole team is in-house and operationally driven by co-founders Sergie (CPO) and Eli (CTO). Now there are 4 members, collaborating together for years: team lead/senior full stack dev, frontend dev, QA engineer and a product designer. No agencies.

How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet?

Have any of the founders not met in person?

🙌
We all first met 3 years ago in person during the Startup Leadership Program and have since shared years of friendship, collaboration in education, work, and even organizing local Burning Man events together.

Sergie and Eli have fostered a professional relationship over 7 years, constructing 30+ tech projects while operating a development agency, and co-founding a tech company which they later exited.

Since then, we've been bootstrapping together for 2 years. I swear, bootstrapping years are like dog years — each one feels like seven in the 'real world’.

Progress

How far along are you?

📈
We've done a lot of “things that don't scale”:
  • spent 100+ hours on product discovery calls
  • made 120+ demo calls, tailoring them to different stages of product
  • launched a closed beta with a web-, and mobile apps (for iOS and Android)
  • manually onboarded more than 30 teams, that brought us 1,000+ users
  • switched from freemium to paid trial, and converted all reachable free users to paying customers (everything became more fun)
  • reached the first revenue milestone with $1k+ in subscriptions
  • successfully made an upsale to existing clients.

How long have each of you been working on this?

How much of that has been full-time? Please explain.

📅
We've been building Orchestra for 2,5 years.

First year, part-time: product discovery, searching for proof of concept, tech research and building first prototype.

Next 1,5 years, full-time bootstraping: dedicated dev team of 8 people (incl. founders), built an MVP, beta launch, first user acquisition, first demos and hands-on onboardings, first revenue, weekly success calls with current users, shipping product updates weekly.

Are people using your product?

Yes

How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?

📈
Onboarded users: 1000+ Monthly active users: 300 Paid customers: 4 teams, ~80 users Our biggest customer, game developer studio, pays us $140/mo for 20 members Average annual check: $500/per year

Do you have revenue?

Yes

How much revenue?

~$1,2k so far

image

Where does your revenue come from? If your revenue comes from multiple sources (ex. multiple products, multiple companies or a mix of consulting and this product), please break down how much is coming from each source.

💲
All is generated from direct SaaS subscriptions. We don't offer consulting or services; it's purely Stripe-powered subscriptions from teams on our paid plans.

Anything else you would like us to know regarding your revenue or growth rate?

💲
We're building a product in the same league as tools like Notion, Miro, and Figma. Just like them, we're investing time in research, development, and finding our market fit (and market pull) before scaling up. As a founders, we put 90% of time and effort to:
  • manually onboard every new team,
  • talk to customers daily via support chats inside Orch, discussing their experience, bugs, and new ideas,
  • hold success calls with onboarded teams weekly to gather more insights,
  • ship features and bug fixes based on user requests twice a week,
  • conduct new demo calls almost every workday.

Though we're not adding customers at a breakneck speed due to our hands-on approach, we're focused on getting users to "aha moment" quickly (and automatically). Once that's sorted, we expect things to take off.

If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change?

If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?

1️⃣
This is the first time we're applying.

If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.

🚀
We participate Founder University Cohort 6 at the moment, led by Jason Calacanis https://www.founder.university

Idea

Why did you pick this idea to work on?

Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?

🚀
We’ve been running hybrid and remote teams for 10 years. Tried dozens of collaboration tools during the process, and there were recurrent issues with them: Navigating through chaos. The constant struggle to keep the tools updated. Data getting lost or shuffled between tools. Overwhelming mess in messengers. Low engagement problem with management tools (tasks, docs, CRM) We worked for years with teams and corporates during our service businesses. It was easy for us to find these folks and spend 100+ hours on discovery interviews with them. And we found:

  • ~70% of teams are facing one or more problems: communication chaos, data losses, outdated work tools, context switching.
  • ~40% of teams are trying to deal with this problems but using integrations, but they not solve this problems well.
  • ~50% of teams use shadow tools for their work due to dissatisfaction with corporate toolset they have

Slack is just “a faster email”: messy and chaotic. IRC style of messaging is outdated, threads are horrible. Number of people using modern messengers as a primary collaboration tool is growing. Task/docs management systems are well-structured, but boring and suffer of low engagement and outdated data. But the less number of tools team use > the less chaos we have…

We felt compelled to develop a productivity app that would be as swift and user-friendly as a social messenger(yet more organized and less chaotic), and solving engagement problem, saving team leaders from unnecessary tasks. This vision led to the birth of Orchestra. Our personal experience in managing teams and building remote workflows.

Vadik, CEO:

  • 11 years of experience managing teams and businesses of up to 75 people entirely remotely.
  • Successfully established a fully automated remote design agency and an edtech business within the no-code domain.
  • Profound expertise in no/low-code.

Sergie, CPO and Eli, CTO:

  • Over a decade of experience leading distributed development and product teams of up to 100 people.
  • Successfully completed more than 80 tech projects for clients
  • Employed more than 20 collaboration and productivity tools at various stages of their business operations.

Who are your competitors?

What do you understand about your business that they don't?

🚀
We navigate the vast Productivity and Collaboration tool landscape. Our competitors range from messaging giants like Slack, Discord, to management platforms like Notion, ClickUp, Asana and more. Our strategy? A Product-Led Growth (PLG) and bottom-up approach targeting small to medium teams (50-100 users) that growing, sidestepping direct confrontation with titans and building native integrations with them. We see a big shift and opportunities:

1. Distributed-first Work. A lot of great companies like Linear, Zapier and Gitlab are remote from the day one. But most of the tools we use were designed by people sitting in the office, for another office teams. It’s time for a new kinds of tools, made by remote teams, for remote-first work.

2. Communication and tasks are two sides of the same coin, not standalone things. They should be glued together, not just connected by API.

3. Communication changed faster than tools: The shift from emails to instant messaging brings new challenges; today's teams need precision and *task-focused communication*.

4. AI-powered Employees: We believe that future of work is less work. And effective AI agents requires Chat UI and rich contexts, best achieved through Orchestra as a structured, task-based communication tool.

Existing tools struggle to adapt to these shifts due to legacy constraints. We see this challenge as our opportunity. Linear and ClickUp are great examples for us.

How do or will you make money?

How much could you make?(We realize you can't know precisely, but give your best estimate.)

🔄
We're adopting classic SaaS pricing:
  • Per seat subscription tiers
  • Add-ons (such as AI-employees as a service or storage plans)
  • Premium/enterprise features plans.

Our growth approach is PLG with a bottom-up strategy, targeting small teams first and then scaling to larger organizational use.

Regarding revenue potential:

  • TAM is $76B as the global productivity software market (Statista),
  • SAM is $3.6B, focusing on tech, marketing, and advertising firms in the US, LATAM, and Europe (~2M companies, an average of 15 users per company at $10/user/month),
  • SOM is $360M, which is 10% of our SAM.

Now we are going to the first milestone of $1M ARR, that can be reached with 550+ customers (with less than 15 team members), but aiming to reach $1B and become bigger that Slack.

How do users find your product?

How did you get the users you have now? If you run paid ads, what is your cost of acquisition?

🪴
In a short-term, we're targeting 100% organic traffic through outreach on Twitter and LinkedIn, content distribution, networking, engaging in tech communities like Reddit, Hacker news, etc. And that’s how we gained Orchestra’s current customers (we avoid pitching to close friends to ensure unbiased feedback). In a mid-term, we’re going to expand organic traffic through SEO and Content marketing. Aiming to keep 60% of all traffic from organic channels, not paid.

If you track metrics around user engagement and retention, what are they?

🪴
1. Workspaces created - 80 2. Workspace members - 1000+ 3. DAU ~100 4. Average Engagement time per day per user ~1h 5. Workspace events (messages sent, tasks created, etc.) per user per day ~150 / to understand how team engagement changes 6. Onboarding time - aiming to 1,5h per team on call to start working in Orchestra as a primary collaboration tool

Where will most of your initial users be located?

US

Which category best applies to your company?

B2B SaaS

Interested to make a call?

Or email me: me@vadik.one

Vadik One,

CEO and co-founder

at Orchestra