16 Inspirational Remote-First Startups of 2021

The Hubble Team
The Hubble Team|

The world of work is flexible, and these 16 remote-first companies are leading the way. 

If you’re looking for best-in-class examples of businesses that have excelled in building remote-first teams, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’ve rounded up the companies who have been shortlisted for the Omnis—a new award series from our partners at Omnipresent that shines a spotlight on those who deserve recognition. 

Global employment services partner, Omnipresent, supports clients in 155 countries. As an Employer of Record, Omnipresent provides end-to-end service and guidance, enabling businesses to hire talent globally.

They manage onboarding through to off-boarding, including legal and compliance, payroll, expenses, and health and benefits. A truly remote company, and its own best client, Omnipresent has grown from two to 150 employees since 2019, with remote staff located in 29 countries.

Sound intriguing? Book a call with Omnipresent here!

What’s more, we even joined forces with Omnipresent to host the “Outstanding Asynchronous & Hybrid Working” award to help celebrate the unsung heroes of these remote teams.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of the 16 fantastic remote-first companies that you can draw inspiration from as we move into 2022.

Outstanding Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

Outstanding Learning & Development

Outstanding Culture & Communication

Outstanding Asynchronous & Hybrid Working

Outstanding Wellbeing & Benefits

Outstanding Reward & Recognition

Outstanding Recruitment & Talent Acquisition

Redeemeum

A team of technologists and strategists on a mission to decentralise trade and commerce by helping organisations build apps for web3. That’s Redeemeum!

With growing demand, they were looking to recruit top programmers and engineers, but didn’t go down the traditional route. 

Instead, Redeemeum were the first-ever company to advertise in CryptoVoxels—an open-world decentralised gaming environment built on Ethereum blockchain. They created a series of billboards in the virtual world to target the right people. And needless to say, it worked. 

Talk about mind-blowing innovation. 

Boldly

Boldly is a subscription-based remote staffing company that matches businesses with talented executive assistants, marketers, and more.

At a time when everyone was struggling to get to grips with remote hiring, Boldly came to the rescue for many (they’ve been doing this since 2012, after all). Throughout 2021, they’ve continued to support both employees and clients and help them achieve their long-term goals. 

SEDNA

SEDNA helps teams reduce email load by up to 95% with their innovative shared inbox and digital workspace. Their mission is to give teams more time back for the work that matters.

With a remote-ready tool like that, it’s no surprise to hear that they doubled their headcount in 2021. It was all done through targeted sourcing and an excellent employee referral program. Bravo SEDNA. 

Outstanding Learning & Development

Nexthink

Nexthink is a software company focused on helping IT to shape smart and productive workplaces. They bring clarity to your IT department through a unique combination of real-time analytics, automation, and employee feedback. 

To help their team succeed in their roles, they offer a robust learning and development program, a buddy system, and have even built a Nexthink Academy to support growth throughout the employee lifecycle.

Tyk Technologies

Tyk is an API and service management platform that empowers teams to make things better, smarter and faster. 

This year, they’ve achieved a team engagement score of 94%—and it’s all down to their exceptional approach to Learning and Development. From their comprehensive onboarding process to interview training and a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, Tyk is a masterclass in remote team management. 

Outstanding Culture & Communication

Willow

Willow Innovations is a mission-driven startup dedicated to transforming and improving the lives of mums everywhere, starting with their first-of-its-kind wearable breast pump. 

Culture comes first for them, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Willow’s VP of People, Dana Lanier, scheduled meetings with every team member, to understand how they wanted to be supported. That’s the stuff! 

They’ve since introduced twice-yearly engagement surveys and weekly huddles, where the team is prompted to connect in smaller breakout rooms to foster more in-depth, honest conversations. Go Willow! 

Griffin

Griffin is an API-first banking platform that gives Fintechs and other businesses the tools they need to launch financial products and services.

Culture is the most important asset to Griffin, and by fostering transparency, hiring the right people, and maintaining strong policies, they’ve managed to build a culture that resonates with their team (and scoop up a nomination at The Omnis in the process). 

tl;dv

Tl.dv is a video meeting game-changer. With one tool, you can record and transcribe Google Meet meetings, tag teammates live and highlight key moments to look back on later.

From a cultural perspective, tl;dv uses virtual escape rooms and bonding sessions to overcome the social challenges of remote work. They also put radical transparency and open communication at the heart of everything they do. 

Outstanding Asynchronous & Hybrid Working

BrainSightAI

BrightSightAI is a deep-tech health startup helping neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists pre-plan surgeries to preserve the functionality of their patients.

When lockdown happened, and they were plunged into remote working, they developed two structured online engagement modules with doctors and patients to keep communication open.

They also implemented ‘holacracy,’ a way to ensure that there was one person taking responsibility for a particular decision, and used a dialogue mapping tool to keep track of free-flow conversations.

Finally, they set up Friday socials to ensure that team bonding was still a priority in the midst of challenging times. 

SaleCycle

SaleCycle is a data-driven platform that helps businesses to increase conversions, recover abandoned sales and increase customer loyalty.

To keep their whole team in the loop, SaleCycle set up an engagement committee, a communication calendar and wellbeing chat. They also empower employees to work in a way that suits them, whether in the office or working remotely.

Wire

Wire equips teams with messaging, audio/video conferencing, file-sharing, and external collaboration tools that are all protected by the strongest end-to-end encryption. 

Working across three offices (and remotely), Wire ensures that both remote and office-based employees can get involved in team social activities and Learning & Development opportunities. Their virtual social get-togethers now attract around 60 team members each month!

Outstanding Wellbeing & Benefits

Armorblox

Armorblox provides email security for your cloud office, helping teams prevent targeted attacks and data loss over email and other cloud applications. 

They’re shortlisted in this category because of their tailored approach to wellness benefits—allowing each employee to access what they need, whether that’s babysitting services or financial advice. 

Maze

Maze makes it easy for teams to source invaluable user insights and apply them to whatever they’re building. In their own words, “We’re a passionate bunch working from all over the world to build the future of rapid testing together.”

And a passionate team needs compassion. That’s why Maze gives their colleagues access to free mental health services and ensures that benefits are inclusive for its whole global team. 

uMed

uMed is a technology platform that helps clinical and medical teams recruit patients into studies and build evidence in days, not years.

They have a team retention rate of 97% (wow!) and count their benefits and wellness program as an important part of the company’s DNA. 

Outstanding Reward & Recognition

Distributed

Distributed offer quality-driven tech teams—on-demand.

They’re able to do what they do by working closely with freelance developers. And freelance developers often want to stick around since Distributed offers a more structured and financially attractive working environment. 

They’ve recognised the value that freelancers bring to their business and, therefore, have created a culture that includes them. Outstanding indeed. 

Guusto

Guusto helps companies make their teams feel valued with simple employee recognition and reward programs. 

They put employee recognition at the heart of their company culture. All employees can reward their colleagues’ hard work through their platform and nominate team members for public recognition during all-hands meetings.

What an inspiring bunch! If there was ever a time to celebrate remote working, it’s now—which is why we were over the moon to partner with the Omnis on the ‘Outstanding Asynchronous & Hybrid Working’ category. 

“It’s crazy to think that ‘hybrid working’ wasn’t even a phrase eighteen months ago. Flexibility, autonomy, and choice in where we work is now the #1 demand from workers all around the world. We believe that the organisations that respond to this will ultimately win the war for talent, and for good reason: they will have the happiest and most productive teams. This Award aims to celebrate that” Tushar Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of Hubble.

A huge congratulations to BrightSightAI for picking up the award and winning all those Hubble Pass credits

Unleash your teams’ ability to work from anywhere, anytime

As we settle into this new world of work, more companies will become remote-first. But most excitingly, companies will continue offering their employees access to on-demand workspaces—wherever they are in the world.

We make this easy with the Hubble Pass; a flexible membership that unlocks your teams’ ability to work from anywhere, anytime. Whether it’s coworking space in Capetown, a meeting room in Madrid or a private day office in Paddington, your team can access top-quality workspace in 300+ locations, spanning 25+ countries and 75+ cities.

Try the Hubble Pass for free today.

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