Announcing Panobi

Merci Grace
August 24, 2023
Colorful Panobi Goobers


Today we’re opening up the closed beta for Panobi, a new platform tailor-made to help software companies and growth teams win (built by people who have actually experienced the pain themselves). There’s a link at the bottom of this post where you can sign up for access. 

We’re also delighted to share that we’ve raised a $5M seed round, led by Index Ventures and angels like Stewart Butterfield (CEO Slack), Dylan Field (CEO Figma), Cal Henderson (CTO Slack), April Underwood (CPO Slack), Andrew Lee (CTO Firebase), Kelly Watkins (CMO Slack), Jana Messerschmidt, Lenny Rachitsky, Fareed Mosavat, and Shreyas Doshi. 

And while both of these announcements are things we are incredibly proud to share, the real story is how and why we got here. 

Scaling under pressure

Seven years ago, when people started calling Slack one of the fastest growing enterprise businesses of all time, I was running its growth team. In retrospect this label was incredibly cool, but it did not feel that way at the time. I was under intense pressure and often felt like I was falling behind. 

You see, I started at Slack as a lone PM to work on new user experience. I picked off-the-shelf software and instrumented our funnel, did usability research, and made the case for an updated onboarding. It went well, and by the end of 2016 my team was 50 people. Externally I probably looked like some sort of poster child for career success, but most days I was treading water instead of making waves.

One of my biggest missed opportunities was an expensive biweekly meeting with the executive team called the Growth Council. The slide deck for the Growth Council took about 8 hours of work to prepare, but because of the kaleidoscope of priorities and inputs that each leader brought to the meeting, we often failed to meet the demands of the brilliant folks hammering us with questions.  

Growth is a massively cross-functional effort and it was good and right that so many leaders were invested in what is arguably the most important initiative at any company. The format of the meeting wasn’t wrong, and neither was the growing group of people who attended. The failure point was our tools – static decks, docs and rigid dashboards that weren’t flexible enough to put growth in the context of the business and explain what was happening live rather than in the past. 

Ultimately, we didn’t have a flexible way for anyone at the company to zoom out on our growth and see the huge number of factors (many of which were not under the remit of the growth team) that impacted our metrics. 

Our tools failed us in more ways than just the Growth Council meeting, though. My team wanted and needed more time to work on the growth levers we owned and to help the rest of the company understand and drive theirs. But instead we had no choice but to spend a huge amount of time trying to keep our data somewhat sorted into the right places. Even I spent roughly one day a week just updating different tools and asking and answering the same questions. The alternative was that the answers about what drove our business would never be compiled, leaving the company without a view into our growth. Plainly, that wasn’t a viable option. So, we invested considerable time and effort compiling answers each week, but at the cost of more focus on experiments and projects that would drive actual results. Treading water indeed.  

What we needed was a platform that wasn’t fighting our productivity, so we could quickly explore, understand and share answers, and then get back to building for the future. We got a lot of things right despite our poor tooling, in part by building bespoke internal systems that persist at Slack, and by working incredibly hard to understand our customers. Not all growth teams are so lucky, though. 

This is an everyone problem

I left Slack in mid-2017 and joined Lightspeed Venture Partners as an investor. For the next several years I met thousands of companies, invested in a small number of them, and took on a few board seats. I saw that most companies – even public companies – struggle with the same problems we’d faced running the product-led growth team at Slack:

  • The C-suite wants to lead with data-informed confidence. To do this, they need to understand how their growth is trending, what the growth team is doing about it, and what the impact will be to the business. 
  • Customer-facing teams need visibility into how product and marketing experiments (especially around high-stakes areas like pricing) will impact the customers they speak with every day. 
  • Product, design and engineering teams need to learn how to run successful experiments, discover high-leverage areas for technical investment, and seamlessly collaborate with the growth team on shared product surfaces and internal systems. 
  • And at B2B companies that run a product-led growth strategy, the sales team needs to know which customers are at risk of churning and which engaged customers are product-qualified accounts that could benefit from a human touch. 

Today, all of these software companies are using a handful of tools that require massive amounts of manual upkeep to create a single snapshot of growth performance and still many of these needs go unmet. And then there’s the growth team: under immense pressure to deliver results but begging for tools and time from every other function at the company. 

It’s time for something better. 

Introducing Panobi

We designed Panobi to meet the unique demands of growth teams and to help software companies of all sizes start their first growth team with confidence. 

Nearly all growth teams have the same needs because they share a common goal: using data to find, measure and improve new vectors for business growth. These radically cross-functional teams need to work together to drive demand, understand growth and product/market fit, and get visibility into as many of the touchpoints customers have with the product and company as possible. 

Panobi brings these work streams into a single, automated view by integrating with existing systems like data warehouses and product experimentation tools so that everyone at a company can see what the growth team is working on, what its goals are, and how it’s performing against those goals – regardless of whether the growth team primarily works on marketing/demand gen, activation, paid conversion or on the entire funnel. 

With Panobi, executives can easily drop in at the right level of context and provide guidance, helping product managers and product marketing managers connect the dots. Leadership across the company can use the platform to dig into details (what experiments are running now for our paid customers?) or zoom out and examine trends (is this shift in our lead volume seasonality or weakness at top-of-funnel)? 

Dialing into the important details and zooming out to see meaningful trends is now an effortless shift of a few clicks, instead of days of manual, painstaking work. 

Companies need a growth platform to survive and thrive, and to ensure that they have control over the factors — like product, marketing, and sales work — that they are able to control. As teams continue to use Panobi and feed additional data into it – customer events, product releases from the non-growth engineering teams, and even user behavior around holidays – they also gain visibility into how the factors they can’t control impact core metrics and product usage.  

In a market where companies and growth teams are asked to take every dollar further, it’s never been more important to quickly answer questions about the business in real-time and act rather than react. 

What’s next

Today we’re launching Panobi’s closed beta and will be onboarding customers immediately. We have a robust set of starting features and integrations that cover the day-to-day work of product-led and consumer growth teams, including metrics, reports, and experimentation. 

In the future, we’ll also build customer-specific data and feedback into the platform. If you have specific systems that you want to integrate with your core growth efforts, get in touch with us.  

Panobi is a self-service tool that any PM or PMM can pick up and start using on their own, starting today. The service will be free during the closed beta period and we’ll always have free viewer seats so that anyone who needs to track the status of growth can easily do so. We want growth teams to win, and we’re here to help. 

Sign up for our waitlist today at  

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