Guild, a new messaging app for private professional groups, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding ahead of its launch this autumn. The round was raised from 28 private investors on SeedLegals and included the two founders, Ashley Friedlein and Matthew O’Riordan.
Described as the “WhatsApp for work”, Guild is ad free and compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The messaging app is built for any professional group, network or community where its members want to communicate, share, learn from each other, stay in touch, develop and nurture valuable professional relationships.
Ashley Friedlein, CEO, said:
“We think it is time professionals had a messaging app that is properly private, GDPR-compliant and designed just for work use. Research suggests there are already over half a billion people using WhatsApp for professional use and that’s the market Guild is going after.”
Guild claims that its members have total control of their own data: in leaving a group they can choose to delete their profile and all contributions. There is no directory of Guild members, public profiles or listing of groups and you must be a member of Guild to join any group.
Professor Robin Dunbar, renowned anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist, has joined Guild’s advisory board.
“Over the years, I’ve been approached by many networking-type start-ups, but I have always declined to be involved because they all seemed to be a simple market-places and lack any sense of a social dimension. Guild is in a different league precisely because its focus is small scale and intensely social and pays much closer attention to the way natural human groups are organised.”
The Guild app is expected to go live this autumn.