There are times where the 9 to 5 stretch catches up and you scratch your head wondering why you are still doing work as mundane as yours. It’s 2016, shouldn’t they have robots doing my work for me already? Well they do. WorkFusion, the software company that provides AI cognitive services can be programmed to do your work for you. Already able to help with banking services, ecommerce, information services and more, they have received lots of praise for their innovative technology.
After their recent funding we spoke with VP of Marketing Adam Devine and spoke about the future of work and where WorkFusion fits in to our work lives.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $14M series C lead by Nokia Growth Partners, and all of our existing investors (Mohr Davidow Ventures, iNovia Capital)
Tell us about your product or service.
Our software automates routine knowledge work for global businesses by combining workforce orchestration, robotics, and AI-powered cognitive automation.
What inspired you to start the company?
Knowledge-workers spend 30 or more percent of their day moving around, categorizing, and extracting information. It’s a waste of human intelligence, it reduces productivity, and it leads to mistakes and attrition (not to mention a huge operational price tag). In world where robotic manufacturing assembly lines have relieved workers of boring, repetitive work, smart-machines should similarly revolutionize knowledge work for the enterprise.
How is it different?
There are other software companies that provide robotic automation, which is essentially just training a “bot” to do the same thing every time without variation. Our platform goes much further by orchestrating large workforces – delegating the right task to the right worker and quality controlling the output – and using the quality data that’s generated to incrementally train machine learning automation on the fly. It’s a way to automate work without programming rules up front or interrupting the natural flow of work. Think of robotics as a solution for 10% of a typical high volume business process (like claims processing in insurance), cognitive is able to automate the rest.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Let’s put it this way. There are around 1billion knowledge workers in the world, the smart people who fill cubicles in banks, insurance companies, and service firms. Each of them spends 30% of their day on repetitive, mundane work that makes them dream about a beach in Hawaii. Let’s say on the low end they make $30K a year. Simple math reveals a $10 trillion problem. That, if slightly grandiose, is our market.
What’s your business model?
What’s the best piece of advice that you never received when it comes to funding?
We have great advisors and investors, and our team has done this many times. We weren’t wanting for great advice, but it’s very simple. Find a valuable problem that no one else is solving, build an amazing product that does what marketing says it does, and partner with investors who believe in you and the problem you’re solving.
What was the funding process like?
We’re in a very hot space (AI) and the market genuinely desperately needs our product. Funding has been easy.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Initially, educating investors on the technology and assuring them that the market would mature to the point of becoming mass and not just visionaries.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
No other software company has what we’ve built, and we’ve won some of the most challenging customers in the world.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Solve claims processing in the insurance industry. Every single insurance company has the same problem, and it’s a valuable, complex problem to solve.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Start in NYC. Not all smart money comes from the Valley.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
I think we’re finally at the base of the hockey stick, and we’ve earned every exponential degree of our ascent.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Raoul’s. It’s been around forever for a reason. Get the steak frites and laugh at people who think they need to fly to Paris for perfectly executed meat and potatoes.