We are excited to announce today that we have raised €4 million in seed funding to launch our collaborative architectural design tool. This round, co-led by Northzone and existing investor Foundamental also included previous investor Seedcamp and a wide cohort of angel investors.
2 years of Rayon
Rayon started exactly two years ago, with our vision to build a better tool for creating beautiful architectural drawings. Having worked at the crossroads of architecture and tech for many years, we felt that the AEC industry deserved a better way to design and collaborate on drawings. Our belief was, and still is, that for many practitioners, there is an urgent need for something more accessible than existing BIM tools, yet more powerful than CAD software when it comes to collaborating, sharing assets and crafting beautiful drawings. We saw first-hand how collaborative tools, such as Figma, Miro and many others, improved dramatically the way people worked together on interface design. We have made it our mission to bring about the same revolution to the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.
Since then, we’ve been hard at work to solve the hard challenges of creating a highly performant design tool in the browser. We lifted the veil over the first iteration of Rayon a bit more than a year ago, working with hand-picked companies, to better understand how we could improve the experience of drawing floor plans. Our Closed Beta has been a tremendous experience to stress test not only the performance of our product but also our assumptions on what could constitute a robust, user-friendly, collaborative design tool for the AEC industry.
From Closed Beta to Open Beta, we decided to let more people try out Rayon earlier this year, as we invited our entire waitlist to join in. The app was far from being polished, but, to our surprise, a lot of people were already able to benefit from our software, enabling our team to collect valuable feedback and massively improve Rayon’s experience and stability. All in all, this Open Beta has been a challenging, yet exciting time for us, as we grew the team, from 5 to 13 people, around our shared passion of building the best design tool we can.
As Beta Users became customers, and as our product became more and more battle-tested, with tens of thousands of drawings made in Rayon, we decided that it was about time that we remove the “Beta Program” tag all together; and so to today Rayon launches, with the hope that we will empower more users to experience how floor plan design can be changed for the better!!
Now is time to thank (a lot of) people; our new investors, Michiel Kotting and Michelle Nacouzi from Northzone for believing in Rayon enough to lead this round; Patric Hellermann from Foundamental from doubling-down on his trust in the company; our new angel investors, David Basulto (ArchDaily) and Norman Foster (Foster + Partners) for showing that the AEC can invest on change from within our discipline; Adam Wiggins and Rasmus Andersson for showing that creative tech leaders can see value in backing our industry! And of course, these two years would not have been possible without the people who supported us from the start: Seedcamp, 20VC, Foundamental, Kima and amazing business Angels such as Ralph Gootee, Joe Thomas, Thibaud Elziere, Amaury Sepulchre, Jonathan Widawski, Quentin Nickmans, Nicolas Steegmann, Riggs Kubiak.
Finally, a very special thanks to the entire Rayon team for their hard work and dedication: Arthur Brongniart, Jan Pochyla, Shira Nathan, Quentin Tardivon, Xavier Haniquaut, Richard Dodd, Nadia Kravtcova, Charles Weber, Aurimas Gasiulis, Jean Dessane and Thibault Balenbois!
The Road Ahead
Moving forward, we fully intend to double down on our vision to offer a new generation of design tools for the built environment.
From an idea to a drawing, we believe there should only be a single uninterrupted motion, that our tools should never hinder but, on the contrary, help foster; that is why making Rayon as frictionless as possible is paramount in our vision. To that end, we intend to keep enriching and refining Rayon’s current tool set, while drastically improving the performance of our app’s engine. Fast, intuitive design tools in a powerful environment is the key to delivering the next generation of design software to the built world.
We also know how much designers aspire to share knowledge and tips, and how much it still lacks proper venues to do so online. That is why we are planning to build the ecosystem around our platform to support that type of exchanges, and nurture a vibrant community of space designers.
Finally, as the built environment comes in almost every shape and form, the catalog of things required to design it is infinitely vast. For Rayon, this means providing rich libraries of assets to address as many use cases and locations as we can. Might it be blocks, styles, templates, or any other asset types that come as collections, we intend to dramatically increase our ongoing effort to provide designers with rich libraries of high-quality assets. Our objective is to make Rayon, not only a great design tool, but also an amazing content platform.
To that end, we will be growing our team up within the next 18 months, while staying true to our company culture, focused on shipping a high-quality product with a small cohort of highly talented individuals. On that note, don’t hesitate to check our job board!
We would like, finally, to thank our users; nothing would have been possible without their unfailing support, WhatsApp messages, Slack chats, and Intercom PMs. Rayon would never be the app it is today without their commitment! To all of them, thank you!
Bastien & Stanislas
Rayon is hiring, check out our jobboard!