The skill requirements needed to successfully run a software company are immense and you likely don’t have all the skills you’d like as an early stage startup between the hundreds of applications you are using to maintain lean operations. So do you hire someone or seek the services of a consultant? Neither! WorkRails is a platform that delivers the outside help from experts for short term projects. Supercharge your company’s workflow with WorkRails.
AlleyWatch Spoke with CEO Jeffrey Leventhal about the startup and its latest round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
This is a seed round with Boldstart, Lerer, Lattice.vc and Box Group.
Tell us about your product or service.
As CEO of the last business I founded my team had a difficult time sourcing consultants to optimize the applications we bought like Marketo, Salesforce, Netsuite, New relic, etc. We often needed small tasks done in less than 10 hours, and that’s hard for consultants to do. Today’s consulting process is predicated on a 30-year-old model, with large implementations…well software changed from on-premise to the cloud but the consulting model didn’t change at all…that’s where we see the opportunity – re-wiring how consulting happens in a SaaS world where you need consultants, more often for shorter term projects. It was natural to build this functionality directly into software.
How is it different?
Consulting today starts OUTSIDE of a software product and involves a non-value added sales process, which just increases costs. With WorkRails our technology platform allows you to integrate the consulting process directly into your application, where your clients are, and where they need the help.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
The $700 Billion dollar software technology consulting market and we are targeting software companies as our clients.
What’s your business model?
Most of our partners are interested in a shared revenue model, with no monthly fee. We are also considering other options and would like to be flexible enough to accommodate our partner’s needs.
How has your prior experience informed your decision-making with WorkRails?
Know whom to hire and when, as well as knowing what proof points are valid and being able to say: “go faster.” My experience has been innovating around the continued convergence of talent and technology.
What was the funding process like?
It was way oversubscribed and sadly there were a lot of people we would love to have had in the syndicate, but we raised what we needed to bring WorkRails to market. One firm called a partner meeting during our pitch to approve the investment!
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Selecting which of the amazing investors we wanted to work with. We know how lucky we are to have this “problem” and respectfully wish we could have had more of them.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our team, the market opportunity and insight into how SaaS is changing. Given my background, as well as the team’s professionalism in on-demand services, we are the team to figure this out.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to build product to simple use case, turn on 10 clients this year, onboard the rest of our waiting list early next year, and then scale.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
There is plenty of capital and smart investors looking to deploy it. If you are trying to raise money and you can’t, it’s probably lack of network and a business plan that does not align with VC. You need to have a path to at least $100M exit, to start thinking VC (and hopefully you have much bigger ambitions and the skills to get there).
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’ve assembled our founding team and we are bringing on people that we identified as key hires long ago. Now, it’s all about turning on our beta clients and proving that there is a better way for professional services to get done.
What’s your favorite rooftop bar in NYC to unwind?
I’m not big on drinking. I prefer to unwind on the soccer field and hanging with my kids and wife!