Home Feature $2M Seed Round, Led By Atlanta Investors, Could Help Punchlist Become The “Grammarly For Creative Work”

$2M Seed Round, Led By Atlanta Investors, Could Help Punchlist Become The “Grammarly For Creative Work”

by Maija Ehlinger

You’d be hard-pressed to point out a pitch deck that is more uniquely designed than the one put together by the team over at Punchlist.

“Pointing” is at the center of the design feedback SaaS startup and its pitch. While pitching at Techstars Demo Day, Atlanta Startup Village, and to potential investors, CEO Pete Bernardo talks about how pointing is fundamental and inherent to human communication. 

“There was one night where Dave Payne (Techstars Atlanta’s managing director) and I were looking at a whiteboard and talking about the [pitch] hook. Dave pointed to something on the whiteboard that we had written, and I just took a step back and I was like, ‘that is what we do!’” 

Punchlist provides a digital feedback tool and annotation tool that makes it possible for teams and clients to “point out” specific changes without having to be in the same room.

“We’re connecting the dots between what is in someone’s head and what they want to communicate. And so pointing, whether it’s through a Punchlish project or in life, it’s about bridging that gap.” 

The team just closed a $2 million seed round to help designers and non-designers alike provide more creative feedback options. 

Punchlist was part of Techstars Atlanta’s 2021 cohort


We first connected with Punchlist over the summer, as Bernardo said the team was focused on providing feedback to nearly completed digital projects. But he said Punchlist has grown over the last several months to address even more design challenges. 

“You’re going to need human-based feedback, which is opinionated and the ‘touchy-feely’ stuff that comes through creative work. Our vision is to complement that with machine-based feedback,” Bernardo said. 

That feedback comes in the form of a creative digital assistant. “More and more people are getting into design through Canva, Webflow, and Squarespace. And we want to give them confidence by having Punchlish sit next to them and say, ‘we’ve got the fundamentals of good design, like accessibility, contrast issues, marketing best practices…and when you need opinion-based feedback, we can also support that.” 

Bernardo describes this creative assistant as the “Grammarly for creative work.” 


Behind The Seed Funding Round 

While the seed round is bringing in investors from across the country, The Punchlist team told Hypepotamus they are particularly proud that one of the lead investors is based in Atlanta. 

Overline, a firm focused on early-stage Southeast founders, and Boston-based PJC led the round. Craig Sherman and “several private investors” also joined the round. 

“[Michael and Sean at Overline] met us during Techstars’ Mentor Madness and they were consistently there for us,” said Bernardo. 

The $2 million seed round, Bernardo said, will go towards hiring engineering, marketing, and operations roles. 

The team also announced today the launch of new integrations with WordPress and Slack, adding to the list of other work management integrations already deployed.

For co-founder and CTO Nic Rosental, it is all about building tools for a fully distributed and asynchronous workforce. And that is something core to the Atlanta-based team as it scales.

“To a large degree, we’re trying to build the future of work — whether it’s how we organize the company, how we think about hiring, and how we build our product,” added Bernardo.



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