Toss Lab has raised $2.5 million in fresh funding for JANDI, an enterprise communication tool that is tailored for companies in Asia. Along with a previous seed round, this brings Toss Lab’s total pre-Series A funding to $4.5 million.
Since launching its pilot version last May, JANDI has been adopted by 30,000 teams, most of which are in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Its clients include Ticketmonster, YelloMobile, and Mangoplate. Like Slack, JANDI aspires to be more than just a messaging tool for businesses. It also wants to be a platform; the newly-released JANDI Connect lets it integrate with GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Google Calendar, and Webhooks.
Chief executive officer Daniel Chan says people tend to see JANDI as a Slack clone, but its genesis is actually in group messaging tool Naver Band. Several of JANDI’s developers worked on the Naver Band in 2013 before joining Tool Lab the next year. Originally created as a consumer product by one of South Korea’s largest Internet firms, Naver Band–which combined microblogging and group chat features–took off as a communication tool for teams from the same company.
JANDI has more enterprise features than Naver Band, but Chan says it wants to retain the feel and user experience of Asian messaging apps, including Line, KakaoTalk, and WeChat, to appeal to users there.
Most of Tool Lab’s new capital will be used to make new hires—since November 2014, its team has grown from 10 people to 50 and it plans to double that number over the next year. It also plans to launch JANDI in Thailand and Malaysia within the next six months.
The company hasn’t divulged its number of daily active users yet, but Chan says “the number has grown dramatically and we haven’t really hit many user acquisition channels that we can use. The expanded user acquisition channels over the coming year as well as new international markets will help us maintain good trajectory.”