French work collaboration startup iObeya plans Seattle-area headquarters

The iObeya team. (iObeya Photo)

Work collaboration startup iObeya announced plans for a Seattle-area office Thursday that will serve as a dual headquarters with the company’s Massy, France, home base.

Tim McCracken, iObeya’s Americas general manager. (iObeya Photo)

iObeya announced a $17 million funding round led by Red River West to fund the expansion. The iObeya platform provides visual management and collaboration software for large organizations with distributed teams, services that have seen a 400% increase in demand since the outset of the pandemic, according to the company.

The tools are designed for engineering, manufacturing, and research and development teams that use the Lean and Agile methods. iObeya customers include Airbus, Volvo, Philips, Cartier, and others.

The company’s plan is part of a larger rise in workplace communication and collaboration technology in the Seattle region, such as Microsoft Teams, Amazon’s Chime video conferencing service, collaboration work management company Smartsheet, and startups pivoting into the space.

iObeya’s office will be in the Kirkland/Bellevue area and will be led by iObeya’s Americas general manager Tim McCracken and VP of marketing Rick Tywoniak. It will serve as iObeya’s sales and marketing hub for North America.

Although iObeya plans to lease a physical space eventually, the Seattle team will mostly work from home at the outset. iObeya plans to have employees at the office in late 2020 or early 2021, according to McCracken. The remote team in Seattle will start work as soon as possible.

iObeya plans to hire 20 employees this year and 50 over the next few years, primarily in sales and marketing roles. It’s one of more than 100 companies that have set up shop in Seattle to mine the region’s deep tech talent pool, although the work-from-home trend and cutbacks at some companies are raising questions about the future of those outposts.

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