- On Monday, automation startup Workato announced that it has raised $ 70 million for the Redpoint Ventures-funded Series C.
- Workato creates integration software that allows apps to "communicate" with each other and automate repetitive tasks. It's used by clients like Slack and Salesforce.
- According to Workato CEO and founder Vijay Tella, competitors such as MuleSoft and Dell Boomi are often too technical for business users, while smaller competitors such as Zapier startup are less suitable for business
- When the founders team started Workato, it worked for a year in Tella's house and was inspired by cooking recipes and the children's programming language Scratch.
- For more information, visit the Business Insider homepage.
In the summer of 201
Workato creates integration software that securely connects apps and automates repetitive tasks. For example, a company can capture customer data and automate the associated financial processes, such as: B. create an invoice.
An idea that has become even more important, Tella says, because data among the dozens of apps that companies use from vendors such as Microsoft, Google, Slack, and others, can be "decomposed and fragmented" by many others ,
"The scale of this problem is enormous," Tella told Business Insider. "The scope and speed that needs to be done are really high."
Against this background, Workato announced on Monday that it would raise $ 70 million in Series C funds under the leadership of Redpoint Ventures involving Norwest Venture Partners, Geodesic Capital, Battery Ventures, and Storm Ventures.
With this funding, Workato plans to help clients manage their business systems, grow their customer success, and become generally accepted in the marketplace. Workato already has over 6,000 customers, including Slack, Pixar, Panera Bread, Levi's, and Salesforce.
Acquisition of MuleSoft, Dell Boomi and Zapier
Prior to Workato, Tella was CEO of Qik, which was acquired by Skype. When he left Skype in 2011 – at the time Microsoft bought it for $ 8.5 billion – he reconnected with some of his former colleagues, discussing how it was not easy to get data between apps ,
According to Tella, there were tools like MuleSoft (now a subsidiary of Salesforce) and Dell Boomi, who found the team too technical and too difficult for business users.
"These products are very powerful," said Tella. "You can do business with them, but they are very technical, few people can use them, and it's difficult, it's a group of players."
On the other hand, there were tools like those from the startup Zapier. which are easier to use, but not so good for business. Workato sees his chance in the middle.
& # 39; The adults remained at a loss & # 39;
In the first year, the Workato team at Tella worked at home and tried different ways to solve this problem and allow applications to work together smoothly.
The team was inspired early on by Scratch, a simple programming language popular for teaching children how to code. Scratch relies on creating simple drag-and-drop instructions rather than typing in a lot of complex code. Tella's 8-year-old twin boys often played with Scratch, and the team thought a drag-and-drop interface would make the product literally any-user-friendly.
"These kids did not get lessons, they played these games," Tella said. "There was this super interesting dynamic in children."
However, when the team tested the software with IT staff, it was a different story.
"What we found was this whole drag-and-drop thing that was easy for kids in Scratch, the adults were kind of perplexed," Tella said. "They do not know what to draw, we went back and said we have to change it, adults think linear in many ways."
After that, the team redesigned the software to work more like a recipe. with step-by-step instructions. Users can also share these recipes with business processes that they have set up, or reuse recipes created by others.
"By the end of the year, we have reached a place where we have seen that this is possible," Tella said.
] Growing Business
Last summer, Workato had just increased Series B by $ 25 million, and the company said its business had grown 3.7 times since then. Tella says the company still has around 70% of the bank's remaining funding, but decided to rebuild it as it saw a great opportunity for growth.
Satidel Dharmaraj, Partner at Redpoint Ventures, said he has decided to invest in Workato because he spoke to many CIOs and asked which products they used. Workato kept coming up. He heard about various teams that used it, from sales to finance and human resources, and hopes that Workato will continue to grow and "build a large, independent, large company that can be a publicly traded company."
Workato had the best solution for the companies we spoke to, "Dharmaraj told Business Insider," We talked to them about how they use Workato and what would happen if we remove Workato from them. We've always asked them on a scale of 1 to 10 what the pain point would be if you remove the solution. Many customers said that would be a 10 if you took it away. We like to hear that when we decide to consider an investment. "