Investing in Iteration X

Posted: 7 Mar 2023

Collaboration on live product. Where it naturally belongs.

Everyone should be able to contribute to product development. Even a marketer like myself 😎.

Figma made collaboration easy during the “build” stage. But once a product enters the “post-build” stage, the iteration workflow begins, and it can get messy very quickly. Feedback without context, unnecessary back-and-forth email and chat, time-consuming video calls, and lost screenshots. Non-designers have difficulty sharing their ideas and designers and developers soon get frustrated. Post-production iteration is happening too far outside of the context of the product, making people across all teams waste a lot of time, energy and money.

Enter Iteration X, a platform for collaborating on web apps and websites directly on the live product, where it naturally belongs. This empowers non-technical teams to flag issues, as well as annotate and propose new solutions directly on the product or on the live website, without breaking the design or the code. It also allows designers and developers to outsource part of their process to product and marketing stakeholders, giving them more time to continue building and innovating.

Connect Ventures led last year a seed funding in Iteration X. La Famiglia VC, Diaspora Ventures, and various angels close to Connect also participated in the round, including Tony Jamous (CEO of Oyster), Jeremy Le Van (Co-founder of Sunrise) and David Okuniev (Co-founder of Typeform).

How we crossed paths

An important area of focus to me as a SaaS investor is Work-Tech. I am fond of products that give teams software superpowers, to make them more productive, more successful and eventually happier. Inspired by my friends at Emergence, I have been on the lookout for new software opportunities that enable cross-functional teams to work together in deeper ways. So imagine my excitement when I learned about Iteration X on Product Hunt: a perfect fit for the in-context collaboration” thesis.

The product is one of those kinds that are so obvious, you almost can’t believe it didn’t already exist.

I immediately DM’d Mehdi, the co-founder / CEO, on Twitter.

How Iteration X fits our investment thesis

Opinionated products

The product encapsulates several opinions, the main are:

  • Focus on post-build vs pre-build. Iteration vs creation. There are a lot of products out there for getting collaboration right early in the process (Figma, Webflow), but the post-build stage has been largely ignored.
  • Empower non-designers to be part of the post-build process rather than just giving notes and comments. As seen with Canva and other no-code products, the ability to empower new, non-technical users to execute front-end tasks previously only accessible to designers and developers is huge.
  • Create a universal architecture that is platform-agnostic
  • Design intentionally around PLG

Crafted with love

  • The three co-founders — Mehdi, Flora and Aymeric — are all designers by background, passionate about the problem they are solving, which they felt firsthand in their previous roles.
  • It’s full of product butter. Iteration X provides a delightful way to share feedback. Surface usability is great, with many features you’d expect when collaborating post-build. One example is an automatic screenshot taken when posting so that even if the site changes after you’ve left a comment, the context remains.

Loved By Many

  • I like that the love goes both ways: marketers love it as they can finally share their feedback easily, and CTOs and engineers love it because it improves communication and workflow with marketers.
  • It appeals to a huge market. The beauty of Iteration X is that it works everywhere and for everyone. Horizontal by nature, it’s a universal meta-layer that sits on top of any product type and any web tech stack. It solves a problem for multiple users and personas. It tackles multiple use cases. As a result, Iteration X scores very high on the ‘by many’ criteria.

PLG Trifecta

Iteration X has a powerful PLG Trifecta edge.

 

  • Product Led Distribution: ✅ Organic “forced use” of the product by sharing an iteration space, accessible without a link or invite. It works exceptionally well between companies, i.e. freelancers and agencies.
  • Product Led Adoption: ✅ Super easy to get started. Time-to-value is immediate. There’s no need to install anything, and it’s completely permissionless.
  • Product Led Expansion: ✅ Land and expand. As a collaboration tool, it naturally expands to multiple users in multiple teams. Unlike Figma, where non-designers can only comment, Iteration X allows non-designers to contribute and iterate. Every team member is then a paid user.

Our take on what the future holds

Mehdi’s vision of a universal collaboration layer to make product development better and faster is promising and exciting. The post-build space itself is new and unclaimed, and we can’t wait to see this team conquer it. We’re thrilled to partner with the Iteration X team on this journey.