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Tangle formally launches as virtual collaboration platform


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Remote work is getting a redo today as Absurd:joy is launching its Tangle virtual collaboration platform today.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Absurd:joy has been working on Tangle for years, revising as needed for customers during multiple rounds of early access. The company raised more than $10 million, and it’s happy to be launching general availability across North America, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and other participating regions in Asia Pacific and South America.

Tangle said people can fully experience how Tangle is reimagining remote work culture. Beginning with a 30-day free trial for a team of up to 50 concurrent colleagues with a maximum of 1,000 invitees to a server, this trial period includes the Pro tier Tangle experience, which includes unlimited use of the virtual office space.

Tangle founders Cy Wise and Alex Schwartz.
Tangle founders Cy Wise and Alex Schwartz.

Absurd:joy started out as a game company started by Owlchemy virtual reality gaming veterans Alex Schwartz and Cy Wise. They were frustrated by the lack of modern tools that empower teams to feel present, connected, and able to collaborate remotely. As they labored to make games in the pandemic, they pivoted to create a remote work hub dubbed Tangle.

It serves as a virtual platform for teams to connect and collaborate from anywhere. It was under testing since the company announced its funding of $5.5 million in August 2021. And now anyone can download and use it.

Beginning with a vision to upend the current, unsatisfying remote work status quo, Tangle aims to foster easier, more natural collaboration with colleagues and friends, via an app that works on the same devices as your other essential tools.

Tangle features like avatar-centric designs and spatial audio came from the team’s background as acclaimed video game makers.

“We knew remote work culture needed those instant, out-loud, and overheard conversations that are effortless in co-located spaces and in-person offices.” said Wise, Tangle COO, in a statement. “So we built a tool from the ground up that’s simple to use to support the actual remote work use case, but with the user-first sensibilities and joy that comes from game developer brains.”

With Tangle, the remote workspace is reimagined as a “canvas” based interface, making it less stuffy than a typical “virtual office.” (Same concept, fewer cubicles.) Tangle’s canvas is flat and dotted by colorful, rounded “Rooms”, which can have both open and closed doors for public or private conversations, that persist no matter who’s logged in at any time.

Tangle comes with room variations.
Tangle comes with room variations.

It’s here that Tangle hosts a team’s voice, video, and screen-share conversations, and any Tangle user can overhear “open door” conversations based on where they’re stationed on the canvas–enabling the kind of collaborative, swivel-chair chats that you won’t find on other platforms. Early Tangle testers have already reported a 50% decrease in meetings and 75% faster decisions thanks to the platform.

“We believe remote work environments should be nice to look at and use, so our canvas is colorful, creative, simple to navigate, and turns off webcams by default,” said Schwartz, CEO of Tangle, in a statement. “With our Avatars, teams are encouraged to show up to the workplace however they choose, every single day. We built Tangle so you can be present at work, without succumbing to webcam dread. To date, Tangle has hosted more than 13 million minutes of conversations, a 2.6x increase from August 2022.”

Naturally, game developers are among the first customers.

“Tangle empowers people to appear as themselves, foster culture, get a quick glance on colleagues’ progress and availability, and align in real-time conversations,” says Matt Schembari, CEO of Lightforge Games, in a statement. “This all happens in a fun, collaborative, and simple-to-learn tool where people work and hang out in a way that feels human.”

Since its inception, Tangle has iterated through three rounds of Early Access testing and received funding from March Gaming, Qualcomm Ventures, Dune Ventures, and WXR Fund along with other industry leaders from Unity, Apple, Microsoft, Redfin, and Roblox. This General Access launch exhibits Tangle’s commitment to a reasonable demand: a better remote-work life for all.

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