3…2…1… Liftoff! Announcing Orbital’s pre-seed round

We’ve raised £150k from Haatch Ventures to help teams discover a whole new way to communicate online.

Space Scene with Orbital and Haatch logos

How we got here

In Spring 2020, Orbital started with a simple mechanic: Distance-based audio for online parties. We were in the first UK lockdown and feeling the same struggles as everyone else: Isolation, webcam fatigue, and generally feeling disconnected. Trying to have meetings and socialise with boxes on a screen was just not working.

I had an idea today. An audio chat app where you can invite people into a room and the closer their marker is to you, the louder their audio is. You can customise your marker and move it around to mingle.
I like that. We jokingly said on a call that I should do my leaving drinks via hangouts, but I thought you just can’t “mingle” on a call of twelve people. Tidy.
Haha that’s a neat idea
Well if anyone wants to build it, you know where to find me and my mockups. 😂

We built a simple version and invited some friends. People chatted. They formed breakaway groups, and mingled. Everyone had a unique social experience. It worked! It felt like a real party.

We knew this wasn’t just a social problem. Nearly a billion unproductive business hours have been wasted since the start of the pandemic due to disconnection, and 54% of workers report experiencing adverse physical and mental effects due to video call burnout.

So, we invited our work teams into the “Orbital Galaxy.” It started with daily standup. Soon, people were hanging out after meetings, coworking together, and “running into each other” by accident. It worked! We felt more connected.

The past 12 months have been an incredible journey. We’ve been building our product, speaking to early customers, creating our playbooks, hiring, and learning so much every step of the way.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the next chapter in this adventure: a pre-seed funding round of £150k with Haatch Ventures.

About Haatch

“From our very first meeting with the team, we knew that they were going to be the right partners to help us learn and grow – both as a company and as founders. Haatch brings an enormous amount of experience and value to the table, and we could not be more excited to start working together.”

Ashley Porciuncula, Co-Founder, Orbital

Haatch is an early stage investment business backing the pioneers of the digital revolution. They are a team of hands-on value creators who have “been there, done that” while building, scaling, and selling their own companies. They now use that knowledge, experience and network to accelerate the growth of portfolio businesses via their “Smart Money” approach, providing support in many areas, including go-to-market, digital development and marketing.

“Now more than ever, with remote working, it is important to find new ways of communicating so employees feel engaged and motivated. The Orbital team impressed us from the outset. We are thrilled to invest in such a talented team with an exciting product.”

Fred Soneya, Co-Founder, Haatch

So, what’s next?

The funding round enables us to pick up speed in key areas: Growth, Product, and Hiring.

We’ll be bringing onboard a Chief Growth Officer to help us work smarter when telling the world about Orbital. We’ll also be able to increase the impact of our Growth and Community Manager, Louise, with who many of you already have become fast friends! We’ll be launching on ProductHunt, popping up in some of your favourite podcasts and online publications, and so much more.

When it comes to Product, we’re already working hard on a number of exciting new features to help your teams and communities form more authentic connections, and eliminate the friction of communicating online. We have some exciting – and unexpected – partners joining us along the way to make your Orbital experience truly out-of-this-world.

We plan to continue to #BuildInPublic and share as many learnings as we can along the way. Come on the adventure with us by following Orbital, or follow Tom, Ashley, and Louise directly.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey so far. You mean the world to us. 💜

Here’s to infinity and beyond…
The Orbital Team

Tom, Ashley, and Louise


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