Former Owlchemy Labs Employees Create Tangle: A Virtual Office that Improves Hybrid Work Environments


Working in a virtual space has been a technology that's been taken for granted. However, a new company created by the folks who founded and grew Owlchemy Labs (acquired by Google in 2017) called absurd:joy aims to improve technology to make it easier to communicate with others in an actual office environment. That new tool is called Tangle.

Built to be playful, joyful, and fun, Tangle is optimized for creativity, natural serendipity, and those swivel-around moments that are so difficult to achieve in a virtual/remote setting while also focusing on user agency, privacy, and comfort. In Tangle, you're able to enter a virtual space that allows you to hear chatter like you would in a coffee shop.

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You can drop into someone's room to chat with them privately; Make group edits alongside your co-workers; Create your own private space so you can focus on your tasks more efficiently without hearing the chatter going on in the background, and even use avatars which would use Camera-based AR to talk with other users.

You can watch Tangle at work with the video below:

Cy Wise, the founder of absurd:joy, stated the following regarding the creation of Tangle:

We created Tangle for ourselves. To collaborate meaningfully with our team. To jump into side conversations with each other seamlessly. To do focus work without being isolated. To leave notes on each other’s doors. To wander by our artist’s desk to see the concept art strung up around it. To laugh at the memes left on whiteboards in meetings we weren’t a part of.

After months of building games as a team with Tangle as our primary communication platform, our friends began begging us for access and we realized that sharing this tool could bring us, our friends, and many others in many industries, vastly more joy

absurd:joy Tangle Owlchemy

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The $5.35mil seed round is led by March Gaming with Dune Ventures, WXR Fund, Gaingels, David Helgason, and others. This round follows their pre-seed funding from Ed Fries at 1UP Ventures and WXR Fund. Louis Gresham from March Gaming has some comments regarding this:

absurd:joy is revolutionizing the way we work with the same human-centered design approach that made them so successful as pioneering game developers. We could not be more excited to support them in making collaboration more intuitive and persistent, regardless of whether you're working remote, hybrid, or in-office.

Like the top game studios that were their first adopters, we at March Gaming knew there was no going back when we started working in Tangle.

Tangle has been available for a while in a closed beta fashion. Several pilot customers such as Bad Robot Games, Lightforge Games, Squanch Games, and Skymap Games have been using Tangle to aid in the process of game creation. They all have mentioned that the tool has positively impacted their workers to feel connected in a remote environment.

Companies can apply for access to Tangle's beta over at absurd:Joy's website.