Centered is an app designed to help you find your rhythm throughout the day, keep your schedule so you can work, and add a personal assistant to help you stay on track. The app lets you take a virtual break from other people trying to get work done and plays soothing beats to trick your brain into doing the work. The company just launched its product and raised $3.9 million to bring some common sense back into your workday.
If you’ve ever done, well, anything and enjoyed what you’ve done, you’ve probably been in a “state of flux” – or “in the zone” as some people call it. The problem is that many desktop environments are set up to prevent this mindset from being achieved. Some workers resort to arriving very early or staying late, working weekends, or doing other silly stunts to get things done. And if you’ve ever said something like, “I like to come home at 7 a.m., it’s so nice here before the phones ring,” well, I’m talking about you.
The app offers virtual coworking sessions where your team appears as small thumbnails through a video feed. The idea is that if your colleagues can see you (but not hear or interact with you), you’re less likely to be futzing on your phone or hanging out for your sixth cup of coffee when you’re supposed to review code. The app also includes “Flow Music”, slow BPM ambient melodies that help convince your brain that it’s time to work. There’s also a personal assistant, which the founder describes as Siri for productivity.
“Remember that feeling of being on a plane, putting on headphones, and suddenly there’s no distraction? Suddenly you’re writing the most words you’ve ever written in a minimum of time because there’s no one around to disturb you. That’s the experience we’re trying to replicate with Centered. When you start a stream session, you’re greeted by Noah. The bot will guide you through of your work,” says Ulf Schwekendiek, founder and CEO of Centered. “The assistant will let you know when you’re halfway through your allotted time, or nudge you if it notices you’re distracted. It’s like having a parent notice you’re on your Game Boy when you were supposed to be doing homework and remind you that you’re supposed to be doing something else.
The company today announced it has raised $3.9 million led by Uncork Capital and Yes VC, with backing from JLL Spark, Shrug Capital, Basement Fund, AVG Basement and Remote First, as well as a cabal of investors providentials.
“Funding unlocks some things. I am no longer alone to code, to design, to do everything with subcontractors,” says Schwekendiek. “We’ve just started staffing our engineering, design and content teams. We can make bigger content deals, get better music, and create better voiceovers. But the really interesting part is our data. We are just beginning to unlock the data we have access to — we know how people work, and no one else does.
The founder assures me that he treats the data in an aggregated, anonymous and secure way. The company did not disclose the valuation of this round.
“Thousands of people have used our product, and early adopters are completing their work an average of 30% faster than they expected – and report being happier and less stressed as a result,” says Schwekendiek. “We find that our top users spend between three and five hours a day using Center as an operating system for productivity. We also found that after week 1 we have almost 100% user retention. »