Dooly raises $80M more for its AI tools to help salespeople manage their busywork

Salespeople have more tools than ever these days to help them with their work, whether they are tools to source new leads, keep those leads interested or informed about what’s being sold, track how the sales process is going, manage those relationships once they are secured, or accounting tools to manage how and where sales are actually coming in. Today, a startup that’s built a platform to help manage the data entry that powers all of that is announcing a swift round of funding to build on momentum and interest in its technology.

Dooly — which has built a set of AI-based tools to automate the busywork that goes into updating data in sales software, specifically apps like Salesforce, in order to get the most out of that software — has closed $80 million in funding. Sources tell us that the money values the Vancouver-based startup at over $300 million.

This is a “swift” round in that efforts to raise and close the funding happened quickly, and come not two months after the company had announced a Series A and seed round totaling $20 million. (In fact, we got wind of this round a couple of weeks ago, so arguably it was less than two months since the previous announcement.)

This latest Series B is being led by Spark Capital, with Greenspring, Tiger Global, Lachy Groom, boldstart ventures, BoxGroup and Addition also participating. Several of these are repeat investors.

Investor interest in the company is coming in part because of what Dooly is adding to the bigger mix of sales tools; and in part because of the traction it has already picked up for that.

While there are indeed a number of apps that salespeople can use these days, that has presented something of a predicament for many salespeople: tending to the data in each of these, updating records and helping them tick along, can be a very time-consuming task that takes people away from doing what they do best.

That predicament has perhaps been heightened in the last year, as organizations push for “digital transformation” — investing in newer IT — to better adapt to workforces that are not in the office all the time, and in many cases haven’t been in an office together for a year and with some perhaps never to return again. That’s in many cases translated to using a ton more software to manage those people, what they do and how they engage with each other when in-person is not an option.

Dooly’s proposition is that it uses AI tools like natural language processing to let people take notes on meetings and other work, which it then intelligently can feed into other applications to let them work as they should.

Kris Hartvigsen, Dooly’s CEO himself, experienced these pain points firsthand as a top salesperson for a number of other companies, and this served as his motivation for building Dooly.

“This was born out of pain,” he said. “When I was in a previous role as a top sales performer, I was constantly in this mode that eroded my time. The headwinds now are for remote working, but not everyone is benefitting from this remote world as much as Zoom is. Some are finding it harder to hit their numbers so you want to spend more time, not less, speaking to customers.”

He describes his business as “the table cloth that goes over the table that no one wants to sit at” and more seriously, “a clean overlay to systems” that is very aware of the challenges salespeople face on a practical, operational level. “We are always mindful of thinking of workflows that hinder users from peak value mode.”

The the app, in his words, “plays nice” with a number of services to ingest information — these, for example, include tools like Gong that among other things monitor voice-based sales calls to provide real-time feedback and transcripts) — as well as those that are used to record what is going on, like Salesforce. It also integrates with Slack and G-Suite and other popular apps.

Then, in addition to being able to use and populate relevant data easily across multiple apps, Dooly also provides some guidance, based on the data it is seeing, to give suggestions on closing deals.

This is music to many salespeople’s ears, it seems. It now has some 500 businesses as customers, and says the list includes revenue teams at Asana, BigCommerce, Contentful, Figma, Intercom, Lessonly, Procore and more.

Up to now, the company has been growing organically, through word-of-mouth — which is perhaps the best kind of sales pitch and success that any company can hope for. Ironically, now that its model has been well proven out, it will quite possibly be using its own tools to expand its reach even more.

Dooly is building one of the most consequential enterprise companies of the next decade,” said Will Reed, a general partner at Spark Capital. “We are thrilled to support Dooly as it continues to power the most forward-thinking revenue teams, and believe it will ultimately define the connected workspace category via its relentless focus on customers and product-led growth.” Reed is joining the board with this round.


Dooly closes on $20M for AI-based tools to help salespeople with their busywork

Robotic process automation has taken the enterprise world by storm by providing a set of tools for those doing repetitive, volume-based tasks to use software to remove some of that labor to let those people focus on more complicated tasks. Today a startup that’s taken some of that ethos and is applying it to more individualized work — that of salespeople — is announcing some funding.

Dooly, a Vancouver, Canada-based startup that has built a set of AI-based tools that automate the busywork that goes into updating data in their sales software, and namely Salesforce, has picked up $20 million in funding to build out its business, which to date has picked up a number of customers among the sales teams of enterprise-focused software companies. They include Airtable, Asana, Intercom, Contentful, Vidyard, BigCommerce, Liftoff and CrowdRiff.

Its aim is to make sales software more useful for salespeople by eliminating the work that goes into inputting data into those systems.

“Really they’ve just created a mountain of virtual filing cabinets,” Kris Hartvigsen, Dooly’s founder and CEO, said in an emailed interview with me. “Filing cabinets just wait for drawers to be opened — or in the case of enterprise software, reports to be pulled and data to be input. We know people are capturing information across the business and our job is to make sure that the people and systems across the business have a better, faster, more far-reaching way of staying informed.”

The funding is being announced today, but it was actually raised in two tranches that had not previously been disclosed. A $3.3 million seed round was led by Boldstart Ventures and also included BoxGroup. Its $17 million Series A, meanwhile, was led by Addition, with Boldstart and BoxGroup again participating, along with Battery Ventures, Mantis (representing musicians The Chainsmokers) and SV Angel.

Alongside the VCs, there are a number of interesting strategic individual investors, too. Daniel Dines and Brandon Deer of UiPath (the RPA connection clearly is not one that I’m imagining!); Allison Pickens, the ex-COO of Gainsight; Zander Lurie of SurveyMonkey); Jay Simons, ex-CEO of Atlassian); Harry Stebbings; and other unnamed investors are all also involved. Ed Sim of Boldstart is joining Dooly’s board of directors with this announcement.

The challenge that Dooly has been built to solve is that while there are a lot of tools out there now to help salespeople source leads, manage the progress of their sales, give them advice and other helpful material to supplement their charm and the basic strength of a product, manage customers once they’ve signed on, and so on, all of them still require something important to work: a time commitment from salespeople to keep them updated with information. Ironically, the more tools to help them that are built, the more time salespeople need to spend feeding them data.

Even more ironically, one of the big daddies of the problem — the somewhat overweight Salesforce — has published figures (cited by Dooly) that say salespeople spend just 34% of their time selling. The rest (minus trips to get coffee to stay caffeinated) seems to be about data entry.

The idea with Dooly is that you turn it on, connect it to what you are using — starting with Salesforce — and Dooly lets you make notes which it then organises and puts into the right places in the rest of your apps.

“When a salesperson starts using Dooly, the ‘aha moment’ is pretty immediate,” Hartvigsen said. “Whether they want to do quick pipeline edits or push their notes to Salesforce, we don’t ask the user to learn any new patterns they aren’t familiar with, we just automate a bunch of things they hate doing, often comparing those traditional chores to clerical work.” For example, he notes, when they sync a note, Dooly automatically updates any Salesforce with any contacts found in the meeting, updates fields, adds to-dos, logs activities, and pushes messages to the appropriate internal stakeholders on Slack, all in the same motion.

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 was in need of disruption.” He added that the plan is to add more integrations over time. “We see need to expand the solutions that anchor to our connected workspace, with our near-term focus being the systems that touch revenue teams,” he said.

The design of Dooly seems to be about investing a little in order to save more. On average people are using Dooly between 2.5 and 5 hours each day, but Hartvigsen claims that right now the system helps people make up for more hours each week in lost productivity. Its pricing starts at $25 per user per month, going up depending on features and use.

There are quite literally thousands of products out in the market today, and among them hundreds of strong ones, being built to help salespeople with different aspects of getting their jobs done. I’ve written about quite a few of them, and I’ve actually asked companies about whether they are tackling the very issue that Dooly has identified and is trying to fix.

They weren’t, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t. Chief among them are companies like UiPath and Salesforce, which sit on different sides of this problem and could well move into it as they keep growing. (Having UiPath as a backer by way of its founder and a senior executive points to a relationship there, which is interesting.)

In the meantime, there have been some other interesting innovations using AI to improve the sales process, with companies like Pipedrive, Clari, Seismic, and Gong all using natural language, machine learning and big data analytics (itself helped by AI) to improve how sales get done.

“The first thing we noticed when we met the Dooly team was the thoughtful design-first approach to product that engendered tons of customer love. This love was inherent not only on popular ratings sites like G2 Crowd but also in the individual usage and viral adoption throughout companies with only one initial user,” said Ed Sim, founder and managing partner at Boldstart Ventures in a statement. “Dooly is revolutionizing the note-taking experience for customer facing end users from sales to customer success to product.”

“Dooly is relentlessly focused on building a user-first experience for its customers to seamlessly create workflows and unlock new revenue opportunities,” said Lee Fixel, founder of Addition, added. “We are thrilled to support Dooly as it continues to scale and enhance the sales function for more businesses.”

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Aeros 2.0 by