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Announcing our $63M Series A, led by Accel

Blog 2021 cap raise cover image
19 January 2022
Benjamin HumphreyBradley Ayers
Tia Alisha

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised a $63M USD Series A led by Rich Wong and Arun Mathew at Accel, along with our existing investors Blackbird, Felicis Ventures, Grok Ventures, and Didier Elzinga from Culture Amp. Vlad Magdalin (CEO of Webflow), Stewart Butterfield (CEO of Slack), and Daniel Yanisse (CEO of Checkr) have also joined our investor and advisor group. Read the full press release.

We’ve been working on Dovetail for almost five years. It’s hard to believe that not long ago, we were working together on our own trying to find product-market fit and solving the complex challenges of qualitative data analysis. Back then, our goal was to earn enough recurring revenue to afford rent and food.

Now, we have a fantastic team of 65 people across our offices in Sydney and San Francisco who support more than 2,600 wonderful customers. This funding brings our valuation north of $700M USD which emphasizes the importance of this emerging category and the exciting future ahead for customer research.

Our new friends at Accel are no stranger to backing product-led, B2B SaaS companies. They’ve invested in many innovative companies over 35-plus years, including 1Password, Atlassian, Checkr, Slack, Spotify, Squarespace, and Webflow. Accel is also known for investing in international companies like us that are based outside of the Bay Area—Rich led Atlassian’s Series A in 2010 and has a long history with them. These factors, plus the relationship we built up with Rich and Arun through 2021, made Accel an obvious choice.

Before we explain what we’re doing with the extra capital, we’d like to thank our community, customers, existing investors, friends, family, and our team who have made all of this possible. We still have a lot of work to achieve our vision, but we wouldn’t be writing this blog without your continued help and support!

Evolving our product

We’ve always believed that deep customer understanding helps to create the best products and services. With the rise of cloud apps, we know that teams now have access to more qualitative and quantitative customer data than ever before. However, this surge in the volume of data, the variety of formats, and the fragmentation across tools makes it tricky to quickly gain insights.

Here, our customers are at the heart of everything we do. Through our own research, community feedback, and customer conversations, we capture all kinds of customer insights that feed into our decision-making processes. We’ve heard that the demand for customer insights continues to outstrip the capacity of internal research teams. With Dovetail, we feel we have an opportunity to ‘democratize’ the research process to help scale research by enabling non-researchers and researchers alike conduct research. But we feel there are many more opportunities beyond analysis: we need to integrate with more tools to support more kinds of data; improve how stakeholders consume research insights; and ultimately change the perception of research by making it cheaper, faster, and more appealing.

These challenges are exciting—if we’re successful, we will equip everyone inside an organization access to relevant customer knowledge in seconds, truly deliver a single source of truth for all qualitative and quantitative customer data and insights, and help our customers continue to innovate with competitive and differentiated products.

So while today Dovetail is the best way for researchers to analyze qualitative data, in 2022, we’ll expand beyond analysis and launch some exciting new products. These will include a product for storing and searching through insights, customer stories, and files; a product for managing research participants and the privacy of their data; and a product for analysis of high-volume data like support tickets, social posts, and in-product feedback. We have some exciting things releasing soon across our analysis and repository offerings that get us closer to this vision. There’s a tonne of detail coming in the next few weeks, but here’s a short teaser.

Dovetail projects will soon be reimagined with ‘views’, enabling you to create and save custom views of notes, highlights, and insights displayed as a grid, table, list, board, or even a canvas. Views are very flexible to enable different analysis workflows for different projects. We’ve been working on views for several months and are excited to get it into our customer’s hands.

Dovetail’s canvas view allows researchers to affinity map collaboratively, synthesize themes, and uncover insights.
Dovetail’s canvas view allows researchers to affinity map collaboratively, synthesize themes, and uncover insights.

We are launching first-class support for files of all types, allowing you to store, preview, search within, and reference almost any file format right in Dovetail. Currently, you need to add files like Word documents, PDFs, and presentations to a note inside a project. Soon, a file will be its own top-level thing in Dovetail providing better discovery, previewing, and collaboration.

Store and search the contents of PDFs, presentations, and more in Dovetail (coming soon).
Store and search the contents of PDFs, presentations, and more in Dovetail (coming soon).

Lastly, expect new integrations with Slack, Atlassian, Google Drive, and Dropbox. These integrations are designed to make it easier to import data into Dovetail, but also weave customer insights into your existing workflows and tools to build the connection between research and decisions being made.

Stay tuned for more on these upcoming product releases!

Doing more for our community

In 2021, our online community grew to over 3,500 people across product, design, and research, from all corners of the world. However, we don’t just want our community to be the fastest place to receive product support or provide feedback. We want it to be a place for you to learn, connect, and be challenged about creating impact with customer research within your organization.

Expect more opportunities for you to connect at virtual events (such as the 1,000+ person tagging taxonomy event we held in October), in-person meetups (if covid will ever allow it!), and our own conference later in the year, tentatively called Dovecon (our marketing team will come up with something better).

With 3,500 members, Dovetail’s Slack community is the home for the craft of research.
With 3,500 members, Dovetail’s Slack community is the home for the craft of research.

We know you’re hungry for more ways to learn about Dovetail best practices. With your help, we will be launching a template gallery, similar to Airtable, Figma, and Miro, so that you can quickly find and use a project or story template that another Dovetail user has created. Already got a template you’d like to share? Jump into the community and let us know!

With the opening of our San Francisco office, we will also expand our support coverage to more time zones. This will mean faster response times, particularly for those in the Americas and Europe. We are also growing our Customer Success team that will support our enterprise customers successfully implement, onboard new teams, and ensure Dovetail is helping you at scale.

Growing our team

Since 2017, we have been committed to growing a team of world-class people to build Dovetail. Today, we’re a team of 65 with plans to hire another 100 in the next year, with 15 to 20 of those to be based in our new San Francisco office.

We believe in-person collaboration is the best way to build high-performing, creative teams, and to make work more than just staring at a screen all day, so our US team will follow an in-person office culture like our Sydney office. We’re also proud to continue uniquely Dovetail perks like KitKat days; ad-hoc bonus paid leave for the whole company to take a break and recharge.

But it’s not just impromptu days off and a solid work culture that makes Dovetail great. Every day, we live our values in everything we do. We’re obsessed with enabling teams to make better decisions through customer understanding, and we’re beyond excited to continue this mission across the ocean. To learn more about our values, mission, and our growth plans, visit our careers page.

Values posters designed by our Artist-in-Residence Lisa who took on the challenge of bringing our values to life.
Values posters designed by our Artist-in-Residence Lisa who took on the challenge of bringing our values to life.

In case you can’t tell, we’ve got a big year planned! We can’t wait to share our new product releases, connect with you at one of our upcoming events, and support you to make customer research a priority within your organization!

We’re excited to continue to work closely with you to further push the boundaries of product and customer research, and with this funding, we’re confident we can dramatically advance our mission and vision—on our own terms—into this decade and beyond.

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