Meet Cycle, a French startup that is building a collaboration tool for product managers where they can collect data from various tools, work on the next product iterations and close the feedback loop with the most engaged customers.
The company raised a total of $6 million across two funding rounds, including a recent funding round led by Boldstart that closed late last year. The startup is backed by eFounders, the European startup studio focused on SaaS products. Base Case, The 20VC Fund, SV Angel, BoxGroup, Hummingbird Ventures and 60 angels also invested in the company — it’s a long list of investors*.
Like many software-as-a-service products, Cycle first acts as a single source of truth. Many product teams rely heavily on products like Confluence, Notion or Google Docs. But they also have to check GitHub issues, Intercom messages and more.
“The issue we are trying to solve is an issue that every product manager faces. Product information is scattered across many different products,” Cycle founder and CEO Mehdi Boudoukhane told me. “As your company scales, you get feedback from users, the sales team, the customer success team and the marketing team.”
And yet, in most cases, product management becomes a black box. Other teams in the company don’t really know when something is going to ship or — worse — if their feedback will have an impact in one way or another.
Cycle has built integrations with popular startup products like HubSpot, Intercom and Slack. Once everything is in Cycle, product teams can organize feedback so that everything related to one feature is grouped together.
Product managers then use Cycle to write their Product Requirements Documents with a rich-text editor that supports embeds. It’s a collaborative editor with the ability to mention your teammates.
“Designers produce visuals, developers produce codes and product managers produce documents,” Boudoukhane said. The idea is that product managers could spend most of their day in Cycle — on average, product managers who use Cycle spend 3 hours per day in the product. And product managers don’t have to manually export their documents to other tools as Cycle offers integrations with Linear, GitHub or Notion.
The worst thing that can happen when you read feedbacks from clients who have decided to end their contracts with you is when they say that there is a missing feature in your product even though… the feature exists. They just didn’t know about it.
So when something finally ships, Cycle helps you close the loop with your customers and coworkers. For instance, the sales team will receive a notification in HubSpot. “Sales teams can then reach out to clients who talked about the feature that was just shipped,” Boudoukhane said.
Having a clear line of communication with your customers is a good way to prevent churn and keep your customers engaged with your product. Some companies like Capitaine Train or Superhuman have been pretty good on this front according to Boudoukhane.
Cycle competes with Productboard or even Jira. But with its lightweight and collaborative approach, Cycle hopes that everyone in the company will interact with its product in one way or another to give feedback and contribute, making it easier to build a product-led company.
* Some individuals who invested in Cycle include Scott Belsky (Founder at Behance), Shreyas Doshi (ex-Product Lead at Stripe), Kelton Lynn (Director of Product Management at Google), Youcef Es-skouri (Head of Product at Dropbox), Omar Pera (Product Lead at Meta), David Hoang (VP Design at Webflow), Jonathan Widawski (CEO at Maze), Mark Pundsack (ex-VP Product at GitLab), Antoine Martin (Founder at Zenly), Marie Gassée (ex-VP Growth at Confluent), Mary Nelson (CCO at Aircall), Olivia Teich (ex-Product Director at Dropbox), David Apple (ex-Head of Sales & Customer Success at Notion), Eric Wittman (ex-CRO at Figma), Sriram Krishnan (ex-Head of Growth at Tinder), Jeremy Le Van (Founder at Sunrise), Brad Menezes (ex-Director of Product at Datadog), Guy Podjarny (Founder at Snyk), Nick Candito (Co-founder at Flatfile), Romain David (ex-Product Manager at Uber) and Kyle Parrish (VP Sales at Figma). I told you it was a long list.