Munich-based Mentessa raises €1 million to change the way we work

Dr. Tina Ruseva, Gruenderin und CEO von Mentessa und Andrey Andreev, CTO bei Mentessa; Foto: © Astrid Eckert, @astrid-eckert.de

Female-led and founded in 2019, Mentessa is a software company on a mission to remove barriers to diversity and collaboration in the workplace. The Munich-based startup has just secured €1 million as it takes on the likes of Slack.

After bootstrapping for its first year, this funding was led by Eleven Ventures with participation from a number of German and international business angels.

Mentessa launched its platform in 2020 empowering people at work to find & share skills with their community, rather than simply communicating with each other – flipping the paradigm of collaboration from process to purpose. Mentessa takes a unique approach to social without media: building a community with no content, ensuring authentic data, and inclusive collaboration across organizational boundaries.

Tina Ruseva, CEO and Founder at Mentessa, commented: “Work is really not about checking boxes, running processes, or climbing the hierarchy ladder. The purpose of organizations is to bring people together so they can solve meaningful problems, better and faster, learn from each other, grow, innovate, and create new opportunities.” 

The inclusive workplace is at top of the agenda as companies struggle with hiring new talent. Yet, once hired, new employees often need months to actually begin contributing with their expertise. Sometimes, they would leave sooner than they had the chance to do so. The rise of remote work showed that emails, messengers, and the intranet are not enough to integrate talent.

Valeri Petrov, Partner at Eleven Ventures said: “The good old problem of integrating, onboarding people and building bonds internally has not been solved but rather has been exacerbated by COVID-19.”

New hires, but also diverse employees, lack an opportunity to connect with people, get the guidance, and experience the essence of an organization in the home office. The current corporate tech stack misses a “people layer” that centres around the individual employee experience and creates a safe and flexible space for informal exchange in the new normal.

Mentessa solves the problem with a next-gen community, an internal network of skills, that helps bring employees along, navigate culture, and collaborate – throughout their entire journey and with the entire organization. The people-fist app empowers employees to find the right peer at the right time, learn from each other, and share experiences. Smart algorithms help colleagues overcome psychological barriers and purposely connect with others beyond hierarchy, location, or bias. 

Thanks to a new approach to skills Mentessa provides authentic information on who can do what, as well as on the current needs of employees. This dual value proposition helps companies plan for the unknown, and employees realize their full potential.

After only one year on the market, Mentessa has secured a number of customers such as Deutsche Telekom, Linde, or OTPbank, spanning several countries. More than 5000 people use Mentessa in different organizations and communities to find a mentor, advance their career, or share their experience. Having validated the product-market fit, the team is ready to accelerate.

Andrey Andreev, CTO and Co-founder, added: “Today’s organization requires every skill, every strength, every experience. As innovation happens at the intersection of different disciplines, removing information silos and barriers to collaboration are the only way to tap into the collective intelligence of the most intelligent species on Earth – us, and solve the global challenges ahead.”