Folk, the new generation of CRM started by European startup studio eFounders, goes live today. If you’ve been paying attention to MovieUpdates, I’ve covered Folk in the past. Since then, the product has evolved a bit and is now ready for prime time.
“The largest SaaS [software-as-a-service] category is CRM. The highest rating in the SaaS industry is Salesforce,” co-founder and COO Simo Lemhandez told me. “But I’m also a category with products that are all considered obsolete,” he added.
For example, Lemhandez finds it too difficult to customize a large CRM product to meet your needs. “We’ve all heard about Salesforce’s integration teams, even though we’re all used to the self-service model,” he said.
Like many modern SaaS products, Folk takes inspiration from popular products that are very flexible yet very powerful. Examples include Notion, Airtable, Figma, and Shopify.
For the past 18 months Folk has been repeating its beta product. There are 10,000 people on the company’s waiting list who want to try it. I saw a demo of the product and sure enough, you can get started without any integration team. When you first sign in, you’ll be prompted to create a workspace and invite your colleagues.
An integration with Google Workspace allows users to import contacts, emails and calendars into the product. Folk immediately gets to work with your contact database by merging duplicates, indexing all fields and enriching contact information.
With a simple keyboard shortcut Folk users can search their contact database. You can search for a name, a company, etc. Once you have this foundation, you can start using your network.
Folk allows you to create groups to organize your contacts. Each group can represent a project or a specific group of people. For example, you can create one group for PR, another for your existing investors, another for potential clients, etc.
When it comes to adding contacts to groups, you can search your contacts, import new contacts from a file, or take advantage of various integrations with third-party services. You can imagine integrations with Calendly, Webflow, Zapier, etc. Furthermore, you can expect extensions for Zoom and a browser extension that integrates with LinkedIn and Gmail. Folk is still building some of those integrations.
Each group is highly customizable. Users can add columns, filter and order contacts, add some logic to some fields. For example, you can organize your contacts based on your most recent interactions. You can also switch to a pipeline view at any time to make it easier to see the status or your projects.
Folk allows you to batch send messages with variables such as first name and last name. Team members can also add comments to a contact so everyone can stay on the same page. There is also a reminder function.
While Folk competes with traditional CRM products like Salesforce and HubSpot, the startup also considers database and spreadsheet tools like Notion, Airtable, Coda, and Excel as competitors. There is also a new generation of CRM products on the market, such as Attio – a startup I covered last year.
But it’s a huge industry with a number of companies that don’t use CRM at all. There will be room for more than one startup in the space. Folk has raised $4.5 million from Accel and 50 different angels.