It’s hard to know how to talk about 2020, between a global pandemic, chaotic politics, and more minutes spent on Zoom calls than we previously imagined possible. At one point or another, we all put our head in our hands and asked the universe, “what’s next?”
Admittedly, when we looked back to write this it was hard to wrap our heads around how quickly it all unraveled. In many ways, it felt like three years in one. But one thing’s for certain — with every curveball, we saw people adapt and overcome.
On a macro level, light was shed on many of the world’s problems, but we also saw the best of humanity. The everyday heroism of healthcare and essential workers, the dedication of teachers, the importance of activists and activism, and the necessity of putting our loved ones and communities first. As we watched it all unfold around us at Onna, it inspired and lifted us — and we believe that’s something worth focusing on.
So for our 2020 year in review, we’ve decided to pool together the moments we believe made a real difference for our team. Beyond the bottom line, we want to showcase how we came together to adapt, empathize, and become a better organization.
1. We adapted to remote work life
When the world came to a stop amidst the pandemic, we immediately began working from home to keep our people safe. Life changed at the drop of a hat, and although we didn’t know how long our “WFH” phase would last, our People Team did everything in their power to make sure we transitioned smoothly. From allowances for remote work set-ups to promoting mental health days, we knew, through the many ups and downs, that we were supported. For that, we’re most grateful.
2. We launched remote perks and wellness initiatives
Early on, we made the very important distinction between “working from home,” and “working from home in the middle of a crisis” — and the impact that has on one’s mental health. With no separation between work and play, many of us found it hard to establish boundaries, especially when it came to focusing during the day or unwinding at night. Managers encouraged their teams to take mid-day breaks and vacation days to prevent overworking and burnout. We also established new monthly stipends for groceries/takeout, wifi/utilities, and wellness/fitness during these difficult times. Not only did these perks positively impact culture at Onna, they have alleviated some pressure and encourage us to take care of ourselves
3. We published our data and AI ethics statement
Although we’re still a growing organization, we know it’s never too early to establish a stance on data and AI ethics. This is a declaration of accountability and commitment to being responsible stewards of customer data. Security and privacy is at the center of how we operate and is ingrained in our product development, customer relationships, and partnerships. We’re proud to have put it in writing.
4. We surpassed 100 employees
We virtually interviewed and onboarded many incredible new Onners, hitting and then exceeding our 100+ employee milestone. The “work from anywhere” mindset prompted us to change our hiring policy to include 100% remote or semi-remote opportunities. Not only did this make for a more flexible, inclusive work environment, we now have talent hailing from 50 cities across 4 countries.
5. We committed to creating a place where everyone belongs
As a global organization with employees from diverse backgrounds, equality and inclusivity are immutable core values. However, without action, we know that words can fall glaringly short. In an effort to address our shortcomings and preserve the incredible culture that connects us all, our teams established two critical initiatives: 1) Our leadership team invested a portion of their budgets into a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program, calling on employees to volunteer and help select a formal consultant to develop an actionable and scalable plan and 2) We established “Women in Tech” our first ERG (Employee Resource Group) led by our COO and CCO, both women on our executive team. Although this is only the beginning, we’re proud of the foundation we’ve created for continuous work and reflection.
6. We raised our Series B
Even during the craziest of times, we are humbled to have still raised our Series B. We couldn’t be more grateful to our customers, investors, friends, and, of course, our team, who helped keep the ship afloat and steadily working towards this goal. We’re excited to take this momentum into the new year.
7. We implemented 33 major product enhancements
As our business grew, so did our customers’ needs and the amount of data we processed. In fact, we connected 14,805 unique data sources, processed 465.5 million files, and performed 275,445 searches in this year alone, breaking the 1 billion indexed docs barrier in July — a major milestone for our platform’s endurance. Even still, we knew we had to up our product’s game on many fronts. From adding new connectors like Zoom to expanding on critical features like preservation, our product updates in 2020 brought us another step closer to the platform of our dreams.
And that’s a wrap. Through all the peaks and valleys of the year, we adapted, overcame, and learned lessons aplenty — but to 2020 we gladly say, goodbye and On(na)ward!