Robotic process automation has taken the corporate world by storm, providing a set of tools for those performing repetitive volume-based tasks to use software to remove some of that work and enable these people to concentrate on more complex tasks. Today, a startup that takes part of this philosophy and applies it to more individualized work – that of salespeople – is announcing funding.
Dooly, a start-up based in Vancouver, Canada that has built a set of artificial intelligence-based tools that automate the work of updating data in their sales software, namely Salesforce, has raised $ 20 million in funding to grow his business, which to date has attracted a number of clients among the sales teams of enterprise-focused software vendors. They include Airtable, Asana, Intercom, Contentful, Vidyard, BigCommerce, Liftoff, and CrowdRiff.
Its goal is to make sales software more useful for salespeople by eliminating the work involved in entering data into these systems.
“Really, they just created a mountain of virtual filing cabinets,” said Kris Hartvigsen, founder and CEO of Dooly, in an email interview with me. “Filing cabinets are just waiting for the drawers to open or, in the case of enterprise software, for reports to extract and data to enter. We know people capture information across the business, and our job is to make sure that people and systems across the business have a more efficient, faster, and more comprehensive way to stay informed. “
The funding is announced today, but it was actually raised in two installments that had not been disclosed before. A $ 3.3 million funding round was led by boldstart ventures and also included BoxGroup. Its $ 17 million Series A, meanwhile, was led by Addition, with participation from Boldstart and BoxGroup, with Battery Ventures, Mantis (representing musicians The Chainsmokers) and SV Angel.
Besides VCs, there are also a number of interesting strategic individual investors. Daniel Dines and Brandon Deer from UIPath (the RPA connection is clearly not what I imagine!); Allison Pickens, former COO Gainsight; Zander Lurie of SurveyMonkey); Jay Simons, former CEO of Atlassian); Harry Stebbings and other anonymous investors are also involved. Boldstart’s Ed Sim joins Dooly’s board with this announcement.
The challenge that Dooly was designed to solve is that while there are currently many tools available to help salespeople find leads, manage their sales progress, give them tips and other useful information. complementing their core charm and strength of a product, handling customers once they’ve logged in, etc., all still need something important to function: a time commitment from sellers to keep them informed of the information. Ironically, the more tools that are built to help them, the more time it takes for salespeople to provide them with data.
Even more ironically, one of the big dads of the problem – the somewhat overweight Salesforce – released figures (as cited by Dooly) that sellers only spend 34% of their time selling. The rest (minus the trips to get coffee to stay caffeinated) seems to be about data entry.
The idea with Dooly is to activate it, connect it to what you use – starting with Salesforce – and Dooly lets you take notes that it then organizes and places in the right places in the rest of your apps.
“When a seller starts using Dooly, the ‘aha moment’ is pretty immediate, ”Hartvigsen said. “Whether they want to make quick pipeline changes or send their notes to Salesforce, we’re not asking the user to learn new models they don’t know, we’re just automating a bunch of things they hate. do, often comparing traditional ones. chores at office work. For example, he notes, when they sync a note, Dooly automatically updates all of Salesforce with all contacts found in the meeting, updates fields, adds tasks, records activities, sends messages to relevant internal stakeholders on Slack, all in the same movement.
The product currently also integrates with Slack, G-Cal, and G-Drive because, Hartvigsen said, “we see this as an area where there is the most immediate friction and an area that needed to be disturbed.” He added that plans are to add more integrations over time. “We see the need to broaden the solutions that anchor to our connected workspace, our near-term focus being the systems that touch revenue teams,” he said.
Dooly’s design seems to be to invest a little to save more. On average, people use Dooly between 2.5 and 5 hours per week, but Hartvigsen says the system is now helping people make up more hours each week in lost productivity. Its price starts at $ 25 per user per month, depending on features and usage.
There are literally thousands of products on the market today, and among them hundreds of powerful products, designed to help salespeople in different aspects of their work. I’ve written about quite a few of them, and I’ve actually asked the companies if they are tackling the very problem that Dooly has identified and is trying to solve.
They weren’t, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. The main ones are companies like UiPath and Salesforce, which find themselves on different sides of this problem and may well tackle it as they grow. (Having UiPath as a funder through its founder and a senior executive indicates a relationship there, which is interesting.)
In the meantime, there have been other exciting innovations using AI to improve the sales process, with companies like Pipedrive, Clari, Seismic, Chorus.ai and Gong all using natural language, machine learning and big data analysis (itself aided by AI). ) to improve the way sales are made.
“The first thing we noticed when we met the Dooly team was the first thoughtful approach to product design that engendered tons of customer love. This love was inherent not only in popular review sites like G2 Crowd, but also in individual use and viral adoption across businesses with a single initial user, ”said Ed Sim, Founder and Managing Partner. at boldstart ventures in a press release. “Dooly is revolutionizing the note-taking experience for end users in contact with customers, from sales to customer success to product.”
“Dooly is relentlessly focused on creating a user first experience for its customers to seamlessly create workflows and unlock new revenue opportunities,” added Lee Fixel, founder of Addition. “We are delighted to support Dooly as he continues to evolve and improve the sales function for more businesses.”