We are living in the age of the startup. Disruption abounds, with industries as varied as television, automotive, and even grocery stores all feeling the pressure of this new era: advance or vanish. The stress of managing a startup is far from negligible. Juggling the metric ton of responsibilities transcends a number of different levels: managing orders, clients, and products, as well as organizing meetings, intentions, and goals. A startup is inherently doing just that: starting up, beginning its accession. This means that everything is in its infancy, everything is up for grabs, and everything needs to be considered, and with immense attention to detail.
Forest: A Formula For Success
]This is why startup services are now aiming to help their very own industries, namely startups themselves. French startup Forest began as part of the eFounders startup studio, which helps new businesses launch from the ground up and head into tomorrow. Forest’s goal was largely born from that same space. The company’s understanding of what startups need in order to flourish came from their time developing at eFounders, watching other companies get their start, and getting their own start.
What the company found is that most emerging businesses have a number of platforms that manage their wide-ranging needs. Yet in order to navigate through a large-scale to-do list, one has to switch back and forth between all these products. The needs are varied, yet all are pragmatic necessities in order for a business to function—yet there exists no singular platform to unite them all. Now Forest is attempting to create an extremely visual all-in-one platform that is intuitive enough for even those with little-to-no technical knowledge.
The company has raised an impressive $3.7 million seed round from Connect Ventures and French billionaire-entrepreneur Xavier Niel, and brought industry veterans and venture capitalists like Pietro Bezza and Jean de La Rochebrochard onto the company board. So far, Forest has attracted over 350 clients, due largely to its free “basic feature” option. The company’s software also offers, and recommends, a paid-for version that features extra benefits such as smartview customs, enhanced permissions, and more.
The company’s early success aims at a new niche market: startups aiming to streamline the work of other startups. Forest allows companies, no matter how varied or specified their product, to use their software with ease. You can plug Forest into other data curators or software, like Stripe, Intercom, Mixpanel and more. Forest would then target the specific functions of those other programs, allowing you to create particular dashboards that measure whoever metrics your company has deemed most important. It can help you save specific searches from your user base, and drive that data towards a specific channel. Even delegating tasks or issuing a refund through Stripe can be done without ever once leaving Forest.
For an industry that heeds the credo of efficiency above all, Forest is looking to become a critical ligament in a company’s productivity, in addition to tech’s sometimes queasy relationship with sharing data. Forest allows startups to keep all of their data to themselves, as nothing goes through the Forest servers. Everything stays between the client and the application database.
Imagining a future in which entire industries are born out of the niche needs of startups shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, leaps in robotic automation were largely meant to help manage the efficiency of assembly lines and factory floors. But with so much of the future looking to take place less in the warehouse and more amongst the ones-and-zeros, it’s a fascinating moment to consider. Companies will begin to sprout with the exclusive aim of helping streamline the work of other startups. In the case of Forest, their work was spawned from a co-working space, where their neighbors became their inspiration, then morphing into their clients.
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