MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Workfit today announced a $5.5 million seed investment to roll out products that will transform meetings from time-sinks into productive, accountable, collaborative time. Investors joining the seed round feature a host of venture capital firms and strategic funds including Battery Ventures, Greycroft Partners and Salesforce Ventures. Workfit will use the investment to grow the team and roll out its inaugural products this spring.
Founder Omar Tawakol, a big-data visionary who founded BlueKai, which was acquired by Oracle in 2014, witnessed the increasing amount of time being spent in meetings, yet people from companies large and small were universally dissatisfied by how unproductive that meeting time was. In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated nine billion meetings a year, where more than 28 percent of that time is considered "wasted" by attendees.
"We believe that meetings should be the most powerful collaborative solution. But for many companies, the amount of time wasted in meetings is akin to taking truckloads of cash and setting them on fire," said Tawakol, Workfit's CEO. "In too many meetings, a lot is said, little is remembered and follow-up is inconsistent. The dynamics of meetings are broken, and in companies across the globe, meeting fatigue has become an epidemic."
Workfit will deliver the industry's first interactive Enterprise Voice Assistant, Eva. Eva is an intelligent meeting facilitator that helps people by making meetings searchable, taking note of decisions, and encouraging follow-up on action items. Eva for Enterprise will go even further, engaging beyond meetings to help employees feed data into, and query data out of, a variety of CRM, task management and customer service platforms. Eva does not require software installations, mobile apps, or specialized hardware and helps customers have more productive meetings with almost no additional effort.
Unlike consumer-oriented voice assistants, Eva is designed for enterprise interactions that require handling multiple speakers at once, higher accuracy rates, and tighter data-ownership controls. Workfit will transform how business users interact with company systems, and bridge the gap between complex workflows and simple voice interactions.
"Voice is clearly the most natural interface, but technologies and systems have forced workers into using complicated tools, each with their own learning curves. Workfit is developing technology that adapts to workers since software should work for you not against you," added Dana Settle, Co-Founder and Partner at Greycroft.
In addition to securing funding and planning to deliver the industry's first interactive Enterprise Voice Assistant, the company also announced three key additions to the management team:
- Ahmad Abdulkader, a renowned industry expert on deep learning, joins Workfit as co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. Abdulkader most recently served as a lead architect for Facebook's applied AI efforts, which produced wide-reaching platforms like DeepText, a text-understanding engine with near-human accuracy in over 20 languages. Prior to Facebook, Ahmad worked on machine-learning solutions for widely used products such as Google Books and Microsoft Bing.
- David Wiener, an innovator in big data and enterprise SaaS product management, joins the company as co-founder and Chief Product Officer. Wiener most recently led product management at BlueKai and the Oracle Data Cloud, delivering a global portfolio of products across four acquired companies.
- Mohamed El-Geish who joins as Senior Director of Engineering led engineering efforts for feed personalization and moonshot projects at LinkedIn. Prior to that, El-Geish scaled a number of Platform-as-a-Service solutions at Microsoft.
Workfit will begin rolling out trials of Eva to its wait list this spring. For opportunities to join the Workfit team or to reserve a spot on the waitlist, visit www.workfit.com
Workfit is the creator of Eva, an Enterprise Voice Assistant. Eva is an intelligent meeting facilitator that helps people have more productive meetings by making meetings searchable, taking note of decisions, and encouraging follow-up on action-items. Leveraging a blend of artificial intelligence and speech recognition, Eva is built to propel professionals to be more efficient, effective and creative. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Ca., Workfit is led by veterans from Oracle, Facebook, and LinkedIn. For more information on Workfit and to sign up for Eva visit www.workfit.com.
Greycroft Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on investments in the Internet and mobile markets. With offices in the two media capitals of the world - New York and Los Angeles – Greycroft is uniquely positioned to serve entrepreneurs who have chosen us as their partners. Greycroft leverages an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help entrepreneurs gain visibility, build strategic relationships, bring their products to market, and build successful businesses. Greycroft manages in excess of $1 billion and has made over 150 investments since inception in leading companies including Acorns, App Annie, Boxed, Buddy Media, Extreme Reach, Huffington Post, JW Player, Maker Studios, Plated, Scopely, TheRealReal, Thrive Market, Trunk Club, Venmo, and WideOrbit. For more information please visit http://www.greycroft.com.
About Battery Ventures
Battery strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, consumer Internet, mobile and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Israel, and London. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at www.battery.com and find a full list of Battery's portfolio companies here.
About Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce Ventures—Salesforce's corporate investment group—invests in the next generation of enterprise technology to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding as well as access to the world's largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of Salesforce's innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage Salesforce's expertise in corporate philanthropy by joining Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce has invested in more than 200 enterprise cloud startups since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.