August 22, 2021
Remote Work

Sike Insights

It’s been more than half a year since the COVID-19 pandemic - and within the wildfire of this crisis, new life has grown. This week, we cover Sike Insights (the builders of Kona), an intelligence platform that helps managers lead remote teams.

The Elevator Pitch:

About 40% of the managers in a Harvard Business Review study expressed low self-confidence in their ability to manage remote workers. Remote management is hard because it’s difficult to assess team mood over a screen. The result? Work burnout, misaligned teams, and employee attrition.

Kona analyzes the way teams communicate and guides managers on how they can improve their emotional intelligence and become better leaders. Kona integrates with platforms like Slack to engage with employees, understand their preferences, and summarize those insights for all team members. This feedback helps drive empathy otherwise lost in remote collaboration.

👇 The Drop Down


Founded: 2020

Stage: Pre-Seed

Tech trend: Remote work enablement

Traction: 8 paying customers in 2 weeks, 100% of customers are daily active users, Raised pre-seed (Dorm Room Fund, Arrow Capital, Techstars LA), featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, BuiltIn, etc

Team -Techstars graduates and serial entrepreneurs
Sid Pandiya | Corine Tan | Andrew Zhou

🔍 Why we like it

  1. 📈 They did their homework
    The team had an explosive, customer-driven start. They interviewed 500+ of the world’s best remote teams to get insights for building Kona. They weren't distracted by feature requests; they were problem-driven and rapidly built product that solves real pain points.
  2. 🦠 Remote team cohesion is a hair-on-fire problem…and here to stay
    This global pandemic has skyrocketed the number of teams transitioning to remote work-culture. Now, analysts say remote work is here to stay. This means that Sike Insights is tackling one of the newest, and fastest-growing markets there is. 8 of the top 10 strategies to prevent employee attrition include developing the soft skills that Kona targets.
  3. 👫 They’re supported by the best in Industry
    There are tons of remote work experts, but nobody has figured out emotional intelligence for remote teams at scale. Sike Insights has surrounded themselves with the top talent: Remote work experts, executive coaches, and EQ Leaders (Darren Murph, Robyn Ward, Janine Davis). Not only did this expertise refine the Kona product, it also gave them the ammunition to publish the "EQ and Remote Managers Report" in August which got over 100k social views.

🎤 BONUS: Founders’ Corner with Sid

Q: How did you start Sike Insights?
I’ve lived in 4 different countries (the UAE, Hong Kong, India, the US) and have always been super social and adaptable. Sike Insights is our way of helping people become more emotionally intelligent.

Q: What's the future of work look like?
Our generation works at companies where we feel cared for and understood. This decade of “Best Places to Work” isn’t going to be places - they’ll be highly empathetic remote teams, where your team cares deeply about you and your growth :)

Q: What's something interesting you learned during your WFH research?
One thing that surprised us was the scale of the problem of emotional intelligence within remote teams. Burnout and lack of culture are symptoms of an innate lack of connection, and no amount of Donut chats and virtual happy hours can solve that.

🤝 Get Involved with Sike Insights

  • Join their Remote EQ Newsletter to learn more about Remote Teams and EQ in Action
  • They recently pitched at Techstars L.A. 2020. Check it out here!
  • Follow the company on Twitter and visit their website

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