[YS Exclusive] Why Naganand Doraswamy is betting on AI startup Worxogo
This year’s Tech30 enterprise tech startup Worxogo has raised Rs 16.5 crore in funding led by Inventus India and Ideaspring Capital. The fundraise will be used primarily to scale the unique AI engine, Mia, and enter global markets.
It is a platform that offers a personal cognitive AI coach to employees for improved and sustainable business impact. The AI engine, Mia is a personal coach that helps employees improve their productivity through actionable advice using principles of behavioural science and neuroeconomics.
Mia primarily understands what makes employees tick by recognising workplace behaviour preferences (intrinsic and extrinsic motivations) and their responses to nudges. The team adds that it has been built on proprietary machine-learning algorithms that assess each employee’s unique behaviour preference, along with performance data.
It also sends customised nudges to employees regularly to help drive business performance. It delivers significant business impact- including at least 25 percent increase in sales, higher productive employees, and reduced supply chain risk. It currently sends one million nudges to over 100,000 users everyday across organisations and industries.
Speaking to YourStory, Naganand Doraswamy, founder and Managing Director of IdeaSpring Capital, said,
"Using nudges and cognitive science to enhance performance is a very unique concept in the context of enterprises. Worxogo is already delivering these nudges to over 100,000 people in India and it will be great to take this to other geographies."
On the investment process, he said,
"The interest was very high after the first meeting. They are the only ones we met in this space and hence we felt it was fresh and different. We however talked to a few prospects/customers before deciding. The entire process took around four months from meeting to closing the deal."
In a press statement, Ramesh Srinivas, CEO and Co-founder, Worxogo, stated that Mia will bring a radical shift in how performance is managed in the near future. It aims to reach every employee in an organisation individually and allow Mia to coach them in a way that aligns personal growth with company objectives.
“The conceptual underpinning of our engine - behavioural science, neuroeconomics and AI, are already dominating conversations as tools of change and we are the first to establish its importance in the enterprise context. We are excited about the next step of our journey and happy to have found like- minded partners in Inventus India and Ideaspring Capital.”
Until about three years ago, the six founders of Worxogo - Ramesh Srinivas, Ravi Bhamidipati, Sudha Bhamidipati, Suneel Aiyer, Anant Sood, and Sivaramakrishnan - held consulting positions at PwC, KPMG, IBM, and EY. They lead, advised, and engaged with transformation programmes at various large enterprises in the IT sector, in financial services and in other industries.
They incorporated Worxogo in 2014, and launched operations in 2015. The Bengaluru-based startup’s first trial product was for a large sales team that, according to Ramesh, “needs day-to-day coaching”.
Parag Dhol, Managing Partner, Inventus India said that behavioural science is a relatively new body of work, which is at variance with economic thinking. He added,
“That paradigm in combination with the ubiquitous mobile, always-on connectivity and machine learning enable productivity benefits in enterprises in real-time, in a personalised fashion and at considerable scale. The talented team at Worxogo is well placed to benefit from this confluence and we are pleased to partner with them on this exciting journey.”
Since its launch in 2015, the company has seen significant success with over 35 customers including Titan Industries, Piramal, PwC, L&T, Sutherland and others with focused applications in sales performance, BPO agent productivity, supply chain and innovation.