Irish-led Quorum secures $2m for ‘WhatsApp with community management’

22 Jul 2020

From left: Quorum co-founders David Newell, Romy Lynch and Patrick Finlay. Image: Y Combinator

Quorum, a start-up founded by three Irish engineers, has closed $2m in seed funding to expand its team and its platform.

Quroum, a Dublin-based start-up building a chat platform for creators and service providers to communicate directly to their clients, has raised $2m in seed funding. The round was led by Adjacent and LocalGlobe, with additional backing from Y Combinator and Web Summit’s investment arm, Amaranthine.

Founded in 2019 by Irish engineers Patrick Finlay, Romy Lynch and David Newell, the company has been described as “WhatsApp with community management built in”.

The three founders previously took part in Y Combinator’s programme in San Francisco to create tools for community managers through their former concept, Monaru. However, the team pivoted to the development of Quorum after noticing a lack of administration features in current chat platforms.

Key concerns

Quorum said that the investment round will be used to grow its product team, with roles currently being based remotely, and accelerate the adoption of its subscription chat platform.

“Micro-businesses are under added pressure to provide services digitally as a consequence of Covid-19, and we’re incredibly excited to make it easy for them to build a paid community,” said Finlay, who is Quorum’s CEO.

“We found that creators were concerned about a whole range of missing features from current chat platforms. Simple things like having no control over what kind of media was shared by participants, to bigger problems around privacy and participant data being accessible to all group members, make it a frustrating experience to try and host these conversations on other platforms.”

Commenting on his firm’s decision to back the start-up, Adjacent’s Nico Wittenborn said: “Messaging is currently built around free – and eventually ad-supported – [global] communication. Quorum is building a solution for those that are or could be using text-based communication to earn their livelihood and drive income. I am excited to team up with Quorum and LocalGlobe to build the foundation for this future.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic