SAN FRANCISCO, July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Remote design and collaboration software MURAL today announced its raise of $1.35 million in seed funding from investors including Alta Ventures, NXTP Labs, Intel Capital and Collaborative Fund. MURAL also secured a relationship with IBM after completing global design firm IDEO's Startup in Residence program.
MURAL was selected as one of a handful of seed-stage startups to participate in IDEO's premier residency program for startups. MURAL worked from IDEO's San Francisco design studio over the course of several months, to refine its product through a series of experiments and design sprints, studying design thinking workflow, and learning how to market to enterprise customers.
"While at IDEO, we had the opportunity to observe the design process from one of the leading design firms in the world. This residency program was invaluable in allowing MURAL to update the product in real-time," said Mariano Suarez-Battan, co-founder & CEO of MURAL. "The people at IDEO were incredible to work with and we were able to make huge strides in the advancement of our digital whiteboard product. We fell in love with IDEO's human centered approach and drive towards simplicity, and, as a result, we embraced that value as our own."
The IDEO Startup in Residence program is designed to help early-stage companies integrate human-centered design into their DNA. Beyond working with MURAL on refining and simplifying their product, IDEO accelerated the company's growth by introducing MURAL to its first enterprise customers.
"We helped the MURAL team design their business holistically, not just the product. That included making introductions to what would become some of their biggest customers," said Diego Rodriguez, Partner and Global Managing Director of New Ventures at IDEO.
Design leaders at IBM were among those who participated in pilot programs with MURAL during their residency and now use the product in their teams. This has allowed more than 17,000 worldwide active monthly users on MURAL to scale design thinking across the company.
"MURAL has been critical in deploying our design thinking practices across IBM. We now have thousands of people in more than 50 countries collaborating on MURAL every day," said Phil Gilbert, General Manager for Design at IBM. "Very simply, MURAL bridges the work happening in-person, with contributions from our remote team members. Everybody is involved, our project visions are aligned, and we're seeing faster, better team outcomes as a result."
MURAL is a visual collaboration tool for creative people. Providing a flexible canvas to help you collaborate remotely as if you were in the same room, MURAL lets you visually organize ideas, workshop content and mix in multimedia components, to effortlessly facilitate conversations. Design-driven companies like IBM, Steelcase, Stanford and Disney are using MURAL to scale their design process and culture. Formerly a startup in residence at IDEO, MURAL is funded by Alta Ventures, Intel Capital, Collaborative Fund, NXTP Labs and 500 Startups, amongst others.