A former rising star from Facebook builds a rival to its own Workplace app

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The product allows nonpaying teams to have up to 150 conversations. Companies can pay for a premium version of the software that allows unlimited conversations for $10 per month per user.

The company has raised just under $11.5 million, including a $10.5 million series A round that was announced on Wednesday and led by Sequoia Capital.

Mike Vernal, a partner at Sequoia Capital and the former vice president of product and engineering at Facebook, said the firm invested in Threads based in large part due to Kazi’s work at Facebook. Vernal said he is a big fan of Kazi, who is exceptionally talented and “one of the fastest rising people I worked with Facebook.”

At one of Facebook’s hackathons, a team put together a tool that took shaky user video and stabilized it. Everyone at the hackathon was impressed by the tool, but no one knew what to do with it, Vernal said. Kazi adopted the software and led its development into Hyperlapse, an Instagram app that lets user make stable time-lapse videos.

“Hyperlapse wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Rousseau adopting it and helping develop it on the side,” Vernal said. “He’s always struck me as someone who is generous, and when he sees something that’s good and might delight people in the world, he’s happy to jump in and make that happen.”

Now Vernal and Sequoia are betting that Kazi will be able to turn Threads into the discussion board service for professional environments.

“On the internet, there are forums and places like Reddit which are discussion boards,” Vernal said. “That’s a largely under explored area of workplace communication. I think that’s a ripe area for innovation.”

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