Executive assistants are the ultimate multitaskers and instead of relying on half a dozen apps to make their jobs easier, startup Kabinet is pulling all of that together into one software package designed for the 10 million-person administrative professional market.
The company, with bases in both Denver and New York, is developing software to aid with daily productivity; for example, a scheduling tool that sits on top of existing company calendars like Outlook and GCal and a peer-to-peer community for EAs to share knowledge.
Cabinet was founded by CEO Julia Leibowitz and CTO Evan Kesten in 2018. Leibowitz, herself, started her career as an executive assistant, which she told TechCrunch was “an incredible place to start” because she was able to gain an inside look at how her organization functioned, especially at the top.
However, as her job grew, so did her responsibilities. And it wasn’t just owning the calendar and making travel arrangements for executives, which Leibowitz says most people think of when they think of EAs. Instead, that is a small part of the job that also includes event coordination, office catering, human resources and even marketing.
“You wear a lot of hats, especially if you are capable,” she added.
While in graduate school, she discovered that many tools and software were created for nearly everyone else in the organization to drive productivity, from engineering, sales and marketing to human resources, but she felt EAs were an overlooked market.
In 2018, she met Kesten while attending Cornell Tech. He was in engineering, and Leibowitz was getting her MBA. She brought him to an administrative professional conference, and not only was Kesten one of only two men, there were no software vendors of any kind, Leibowitz recalled. It was that starting point that then became Cabinet.
The company’s software is not just one feature, but brings a lot of capabilities into one package to drive workflow. Some EAs may have to schedule for more than one executive, and could be doing that more than 50 times per day. While some scheduling software is more suitable for individual executives, Cabinet provides ease in offering the option to either send a booking link or handpick from a variety of times that are automatically aggregated based on the executive’s calendar. It can even generate an email that lists the times available in plain text.
The software also goes beyond scheduling to improve efficiencies in travel management, office management and inbox management. Cabinet is a subscription-based model that charges users a fee of $29 per month if paying annually, or $36 per month.
“It’s a charge that EAs can easily purchase on their company credit card,” Leibowitz said. “That’s one of the ways that differentiates them — EAs are powerful customers because they typically have access to cards and are used to spending money on behalf of their teams.”
To get the software in front of more executive assistants, Cabinet closed on $2.6 million in funding, led by Harlem Capital with participation from Good Friends Capital and existing investor Parade Ventures. The investment also includes money from a pre-seed round in July 2020 from Parade, Techstars, Heroic Ventures, The Fund and angel investors.
“One of our former interns and now senior associates, Nicole DeTommaso, sourced Cabinet at a late 2020 Techstars demo day,” Henri Pierre-Jacques, managing partner of Harlem Capital, said via email. “It was a little early for us, but we kept in touch with Julia even through her pregnancy earlier this year. Seeing the product development and customer growth over the past few months was very impressive, especially for a small team and new mother. Julia embodies the type of founder we look for and we are grateful that she and Evan chose to partner with us.”
In the last six months, Cabinet has grown 30% month over month. It has also amassed over 4,000 administration professionals in its community, where they can exchange insider knowledge on topics like the best non-glitchy conferencing software.
The company also plans to invest the new funding in technology development. Cabinet works closely with its customers who often give feedback on new features, and the investment will enable the company to quickly iterate to drive efficiency in new feature launches.
In addition, the company is looking to hire marketing and engineering positions in its Denver and New York offices. Cabinet has three employees currently, and Leibowitz expects to be at eight in the next six months.
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