This SaaS startup converts long URLs into simple shortcuts to boost productivity
Founded in 2020, SaaS startup OSlash is an enterprise productivity tool that enables employees to quickly access the information they need to enhance collaboration and productivity at the workplace.
Tuesday April 12, 2022,
6 min Read
Who hasn’t spent time looking for, requesting, and waiting for links while at work?
Enter SaaS startup, which does away with the hours teams spend searching for the right link or file in stacks of emails, messages, and Slack threads with “intuitive shortcuts”.
Founded in 2020 by SaaS veterans Ankit Pansari and Shoaib Khan, OSlash is an enterprise URL manager that helps teams navigate, manage, and share information by internally naming all important links.
The startup, which has offices in San Francisco, Bengaluru, and Chennai, offers a browser extension that allows users to transform any URL into simple memorable shortcuts such as o/roadmap or o/allhands (for the entire team).
To use OSlash, a user needs to download the OSlash extension and create a workspace with their team. When on a page you visit frequently, click on the extension, give the page a name such as o/press-release-kit. Choose from among the following access settings - public, workspace, or private - and click save.
“That’s it. Your whole team would be able to navigate to the page simply by typing o/press-release-kit on the address bar of the browser, wherever they may be. OSlash shortcuts are intuitive in nature and can help users get to the page they want in a fraction of a second, making OSlash the fastest way to work in the modern workplace,” says OSlash Co-founder and CEO Ankit.
Enterprises that use OSlash claim to have seen a 25 percent uptick in productivity, making it the fastest way for teams to work in the modern workplace.
The biggest USP of OSlash is that it makes the browser multiplayer.
“We are enabling collaboration across tools on the very platform where everyone works — the browser. OSlash is simply a layer on top of every tool you use, which turns any page within any app into a simple, easy-to-remember shortcut. It also allows users to pull together information from disparate applications in one place,” Ankit tells YourStory.
“The competition we have is the internal link shortener that is very popular in a few Silicon Valley companies such as Google, Twitter, Stripe, and others. We are recreating internal shorteners and making them 10x better. To embrace WFH and hybrid work culture, we made sure OSlash works everywhere, not just in your office network,” he says.
Other features include OSlash Autocomplete, which allows users to reference links simply by typing out the shortcut in every text editor; OSlash Launcher, which helps users navigate, search, copy, and find shortcuts/tabs and everything going on in the browser using keyboard hotkeys; and Collections, which has folders of URLs that help group related shortcuts together to create an information hierarchy in the workplace.
“For example: o/design contains the links of every Figma file created to design different features in the product. Or o/onboarding can be a list of all the pages a candidate needs to go through to onboard into the company on joining,” says Co-founder Shoaib.
The Dashboard feature is a comprehensive overview of all the shortcuts created within the workspace. It allows users to keep track of everything that’s brewing in the company. Variable Shortcuts allow you to reach the directly intended page without jumping through hoops.
Public Shortcuts can be accessed by everyone merely by sharing the shortcut link with the audience, and is especially useful while sharing pages on emails or social media. The Universal Search helps bring together information from disparate applications in one place using keywords.
OSlash competes with the likes of GoLinks and Glean among others.
The team and funding
Ankit’s entrepreneurial journey began when he built Startle, a cloud telephony company during his bachelor’s course at SRM University. He ventured into SaaS as a product manager at Zoho, leading its low-code development platform Zoho Creator. There, he understood that cloud-based SaaS applications were the future of work.
An alumnus of BITS Pilani, Shoaib’s first venture started in the final year of university. With a mere startup cost of $5, it was eventually acquired for $75,000 within a year. His next venture, Veevr, grew to become one of the top 100 websites in the world with 55 MAU and $10M ARR.
Shoaib also founded nFusion, which was acquired by BookMyShow, where he had set up the tech and the team in 2016. He then went on to work on ecommerce technology patents before initiating a project for educating and improving graduate students' developer skills.
Shoaib and Ankit met via Accel Launchpad. The two worked on multiple projects together and discovered that OSlash was the idea they were most excited about.
“Google, Stripe, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and other giants of the Silicon Valley already have an internal tool that allows them to slash URLs into shortcuts that are human-readable and easy to remember,” Ankit says.
“We’ve all grappled with finding, sharing links, and wondering where the information lies in the company. We wanted to create a URL management tool, took inspiration from the solution Google invented for itself, and chose to make it better 10x so that OSlash could follow you everywhere you work,” he adds.
The team is currently 20-member strong.
OSlash raised a $5 million post-Seed round in 2022 from 40+ prominent executives, including Kevin Weil (President, Planet; ex-Instagram), Christian Oestlien (VP Product, YouTube), Elizabeth Weil (Founder and Managing Partner, Scribble Ventures), Akshay Kothari (COO, Notion), and Cristina Cordova (Partner, First Round).
This was in addition to $2.5 million raised in September in a round led by Accel Partners.
OSlash works on a freemium pricing model - organisations are required to pay to use its full suite of features. The pricing plans are available in three categories: Starter (free), Pro ($4/month per user), and Enterprise (custom plan).
The present and future
Shoaib says the market for workplace productivity suites is ever-expanding, with companies such as Slack, Dropbox, and Trello having more than 100 million users.
“The market opportunity is upwards of $25 billion. We believe every company, small or large, can benefit from OSlash,” he says.
OSlash claims to have users from around the world, but is getting its maximum traction from the US.
“We have more than 3,000 teams onboard, including teams from Khan Academy, Twitch, Cred, etc,” Ankit says.
“Our target audience is technology companies, particularly high-growth startups with 20-1,000 employees. We started reaching out to our network of founders. They liked the product and immediately identified with the problem we were trying to solve. We grew to our initial set of users via word of mouth.”
OSlash aims to raise its Series A funding in the next six months.
On the outlook for the future, Shoaib says the SaaS startup wants to work on a universal search feature that “will allow users to find information in their workplace as easily as typing a Google query. We also wish to set up hiring in the US and Europe”.
Edited by Teja Lele