Sometimes the work of having a job takes time away from work. Tasks like asking for leave, filing tech requests and checking company policy also result in a lot of administrative work for HR and IT department, especially companies with remote or hybrid work models. Atomicwork wants to help with an AI assistant that automates many of those workflows. The San Francisco and Singapore-based company launched today from stealth with $11 million in seed funding led by Blume Ventures and Matrix Partners. Storm Ventures, Neon Fund and angel investors also participated.
Atomicwork was founded in September 2022 by Vijay Rayapati, Kiran Darisi and Parsuram Vijayasankar, all SaaS veterans who have known each other for 10 years. Rayapati’s previous startup, cloud computing company Minjar, was acquired in 2018 by Nutanix, where Rayapati served as GM before starting Atomicwork. Darisi and Parsuram, meanwhile, were both part of Freshwork’s founding team.
Rayapati told TechCrunch that Atomicwork’s origin came from the team’s realization that even though the people they worked with were integral to their success, their employees did not get the same level of software for their daily operational needs. After speaking to more than a hundred companies, the team saw that many others were dealing with complex internal software and processes that causes a lot of busywork.
“Even simple things like getting a payslip from finance, or requesting some hardware, or looking for the leave document or reimbursement document, takes up precious time,” Rayapati said. “And this is not just the employees’ time, it’s also the IT team’s time, the finance team’s time that is being wasted on easily automated tasks.” Dealing with complex internal systems, especially if they don’t know what software to use for each department, is also a major time waster for employees.
Employees at many companies need to contact service desks for help or approach IT and HR teams, a process that can take up to a day, especially if their organization is spread out across different time zones. Alternatively, they need to search through their employee portal’s FAQ to see if they can get the answer to questions like “how do I add my email to a new device.”
Rayapati said Atomicwork cuts this process in half because Atom learns from all company wikis, policy documents, FAQs and historical tickets to answer employee questions. Atomicwork sits on top of collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams with Atom, an AI assistant. It can answer employee questions and requests to various departments like IT, HR, finance and legal.
For example, an employee can type “Atom, is tomorrow a day off?” and it will respond with “Yes, tomorrow is Labor Day so you have the day off.” Or they can ask “How do I set up email on my new phone,” and Atom will respond with the right link.
Atomicwork has a range of workflows to help company operations. Fully automated workflows handle tasks without manual intervention, like generative answers to common employee questions or reimbursement processes that settle expenses more quickly. Semi-automated workflows are a blend between automation and human oversight where needed, and include streamlining vendor payments and request approvals and employee onboarding or offboarding.
Atomicwork’s target customers are mid-market companies with employee counts ranging from 500 to 2,000, many of which have dedicated budgets for employee support functions. Rayapati said his startup sees ServiceNow as a competitor, but Atomicwork’s differentiator is that it was built with conversational AI from the ground up. Atomicwork is also aimed at giving mid-market companies an internal delivery system that is easy for employees to use.
The company plans to expand in all other employee support teams like legal, facilities, business operations and general and administrative functions. It also sees an opportunity to enter sales operations, partner operations, vendor operations and other internal teams.
“Ultimately, we see Atomicwork becoming a business service management suite for internal teams, and partners inside and outside the organization,” Rayapati said.
In a statement about the investment, Storm Ventures partner Arun Penmetsa said, “The proliferation of HR and IT solutions in the last 20 years has led to a huge number of tools for employees to interact with, resulting in delays and loss of productivity. Atomicwork provides a single self-service platform for a hybrid workforce that addresses this pain and dramatically improves the employee experience.”