Cutting Through Workplace Noise

Creating the right context for productive work with AI-powered summarization
Cutting Through Workplace Noise
Casper Bjarnason

Despite being a (almost a year 😅)  late announcement, we are excited to have led Spoke’s pre-seed round alongside Possible Ventures, as well as founders and experienced operators from, amongst others,  N26, Frontier Car Group, SumUp, Twilio, on their journey to kill workplace noise with generative AI!

Companies today are drowning in noise

Largely due to the combination of remote teams and proliferating number of tools in the startup tech stack, the modern workplace has become exceedingly noisy.

With the status quo for company operations tilting towards remote-first teams, hybrid work setups, and flexible work arrangements, employees in the modern work environment deal with an ever-increasing amount of information misalignment. 

On top of this, the startup tech stack is filled with more software tools than ever, only adding to the amount of noise.

Let’s face it. The modern work environment can be overwhelming. With endless Zoom calls, Slack notifications, and Notion updates, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of information. How often have you opened your Slack to see that red notification pile, only to feel overwhelmed and ignore it? Or missed an essential update in Notion because you couldn’t find it amidst the chaos?

The daily standup, the weekly status report - these are just a few examples of the measures organizations have taken to improve how information is captured, synthesized, and communicated. But despite the best efforts, the reality is that our ways of sharing information at work are broken.

Calendars overflowing with Zoom calls and alignment meetings, Slack notifications pinging at every turn, and yet information still slips through the cracks. It’s a vicious cycle of noise creation, where the fear of missing out leads to oversubscription to channels, tickets, pages, and projects. It’s a mess.

We believe that as work becomes increasingly flexible and distributed, companies need the tools to efficiently share information and create alignment that caters to the modern, often asynchronous, working environment within companies.

Spoke is an AI-powered Operating System that aggregates, prioritizes, and summarises information for knowledge workers. 

Spoke serves as an operating system for workplaces - conceptualize it as an intelligence layer - harmonizing information flows vertically within and across teams. By improving the information sharing and alignment, Spoke gives teams their time back to focus on their actual work.

Spoke takes an input-agnostic approach by aggregating communication and progress updates across the tools that teams use every day - Slack, Jira, Github, Miro, Figma, and Notion - to provide a powerful experience across two areas:

Smart inbox (and outbox):  Aggregate, prioritize and contextualize notifications across tools (web app + browser plug-in)
The smart inbox aggregates notifications, prioritizes, summarises across tools, so users reach inbox zero faster than ever without missing anything. The smart outbox monitors topics awaiting a response and allows users to follow up on communication to prevent things from falling through the cracks.

All notifications

Prioritized notifications

Generative Knowledge Base: Intelligent search that connects explicit (tickets, documents) and implicit inputs (conversations, comments) to provide an up-to-date source of truth in summarized form. This gives teams a real-time, easy-to-understand rundown of everything happening so they can always stay updated on tasks and project progress with the surrounding context.

Generative knowledge

Spoke has just launched its free Slack plugin in open beta. This Slack app provides on-demand thread summarization for Slack, allowing users to get the context without reading every message.  The time to value is instant, as users can save time and focus on the key outcomes of threads rather than reading an entire thread. On top of this, the slack app lets users stay on top of essential channels and offers a smarter way to keep track of pending topics.

We are very excited to partner with Spoke on their journey ahead! 

They are solving a very real pain point for startups and scaleups - time spent on information alignment.  This is not an easy problem to solve from a technical or user experience standpoint. With large language models becoming increasingly commoditized, a competitive edge will come from superior user experience and a clear go-to-market approach. At the end of the day, the product needs to create less noise than more!

A team with a strong product vision and the ability to execute

When we first met the team at Spoke, something immediately stood out to us - they have such a clear product vision. They know what they want to build and why. 

Jack and Max have worked together for years and successfully built, launched, and scaled software products & businesses through N26 and founding Plantclub. The team also brought in co-founder Carl to complete the German version of the Collison brothers' dynamic pairing. 

As a founding team, having experienced the challenges of fast-scaling organizations at N26, Circ, One Finance, and WeWork, they have lived the problem they are solving. It was clear that  with Jack’s product leadership and vision and Max’s German operational and go-to-market excellence coupled with Carl’s data analytics expertise, we had found the right mix of talent to build the future of asynchronous tooling for automated alignment.

More about the author(s)
Casper Bjarnason

As part of the investment team, Casper sources and evaluates deals, and conducts deep-dive analysis into industries, with a keen focus on Climate and Fintech. Additionally, Casper plays a key role in further implementing our impact-aware strategy. Casper holds a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in finance and economics) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Science in Business Administration and E-business at Copenhagen Business School.

Prior to byFounders, Casper worked in Singapore for Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV) - a crypto and blockchain focused VC fund and M&A boutique. Most recently, Casper worked in the biz dev team at Januar (one of our portfolio companies).

More about the author(s)
No items found.
September 25, 2023

Introducing QA.tech: Transforming QA Testing with AI

QA.tech is building the first Autonomous QA Tester – to create a future of reliable and bug free applications built by both humans and artificial intelligence
August 24, 2023

Our Investment in Jellatech: the Future of Sustainable Proteins

Jellatech is pioneering the ethical and sustainable production of complex proteins like collagen through cellular agriculture
February 23, 2023

Cutting Through Workplace Noise

Creating the right context for productive work with AI-powered summarization
February 22, 2023

Building the go-to platform for investing in culture‍

OWND abstracts away the complexity of purchasing NFTs by lowering the technical, financial, and social barriers. This allows fashion enthusiasts and sneakerheads to purchase, trade, and collect fashion NFTs, including physical items from leading brands such as Nike, Adidas Originals, Gucci, Prada, to name a few. And they are just getting started. 
February 3, 2023

Tackling Climate Change, One Household at a Time

Investing in a greener future with DREM - Accelerating the deployment of heat pumps
January 25, 2023

Our investment in Supernormal: ​​The future of cognitive computing

Supernormal uses a fine-tuned Large Language Model to automatically generate meeting summaries, decisions, and action points.
January 11, 2023

We invested in Francis: the efficient spreadsheet giving business leaders their time back

Too often, we see small business owners hurting from the stress of financial uncertainty. We see them learning the hard way (and often too late) that they should’ve invested in tools that bring visibility to their finances, and they should’ve asked for support to help make the right strategic financial decisions in a timely manner.
January 8, 2023

byFounders invests in Watalook - revolutioning the beauty industry with its all-in-one platform

Watalook offers a comprehensive platform that caters to the unique needs of independent beauty professionals, allowing them to manage their clients, brand, and finances all in one place.
October 31, 2022

byFounders and Creative Force team up to bring leading e-commerce brands industry-changing solutions

Creative Force’s mission is to streamline and enable creative operations for leading e-commerce brands and online retailers. In a nutshell, they automate manual tasks so the creator can focus on creativity.
September 22, 2022

byFounders leads the €2.3 million pre-seed round in Cello: supercharging product growth by making word-of-mouth rewarding

Cello is the world’s first user-led growth platform that helps businesses to harness their most passionate users to drive word-of-mouth growth at scale.
July 8, 2022

Our investment in Salto X: the platform enabling token incentive plans for remote companies

“The main bottleneck for European startup growth is not the lack of capital, it’s the lack of talent!” This sentence has been said by many and I’m now stating it again because it’s sadly the truth. If we are serious about wanting Europe’s tech scene to thrive (and one day be on par - or better - than the US) then we need to drastically improve our ability to attract and retain talent.
May 20, 2022

Aumio raises €3 million to support children’s mental health through playful learning

We’ve been truly excited by the emergence of parenting tech for a while now, and supporting children and their parents in dealing with mental health struggles is a mission we obviously want to stand behind. We’ve been actively looking for the right combination of a product market fit and founder drive. When we came across Aumio - a unique sleep and mindfulness cosmos for children - jumping onboard was a no-brainer for us. Let us tell you why. 
May 5, 2022

Januar raises €6 million in seed funding startup to build financial infrastructure for crypto economy

Danish financial infrastructure partner for crypto businesses Januar has raised €6 million in funding. Januar will use the new funding to roll out its crypto-friendly financial services for businesses across Europe, starting with payment accounts for crypto businesses.
December 17, 2021

London-based Fuzey, the digital one-stop-shop for SMEs and independent contractors, raises a €4m seed round

We’re so proud to lead the €4m seed round in London-based Fuzey: the all-in-one messaging platform that centralizes small businesses’ communications, payments, marketing, and calendars. 
November 2, 2021

Our Investment in Monta: Powering the EV Ecosystem

We invested in Monta in March this year. Since then, Casper and Anders and the rest of the team have not looked back and we are firm believers in Monta being on track to be the dominant EV charging platform in Europe and beyond. Here’s why:
October 29, 2021

Why we Invested in PipeBio: no-code SaaS for bioinformatics and drug development

The human costs of the pandemic forced the scientific community to rethink how processes, such as drug development, can be done 10x faster than before. PipeBio is at the frontline of that development.
September 10, 2021

Why We Invested in Januar: Financial infrastructure for crypto companies

For too long crypto native companies have been lacking a stable and secure banking foundation to run their businesses from without the fear of being shut down by their, presumed, banking partner. Enter Januar.
June 22, 2021

Why we invested in GamerzClass

When first meeting Victor Folmann and listening to a very candid podcast episode he did on Iværksætterhistorier we learned that Victor’s entrepreneurial career started already in his teens. He quickly realized that he had a knack for sales; whether it was vegetables or cell phones didn’t matter; you had something to sell; he was your guy.
June 17, 2021

Why We Invested in BonBot

At byFounders, we are a team of enthusiastic foodies. So, when we heard about BonBot: a modular retail food concept with a mobile front-end and a robot-powered store, we knew we had to meet the talent behind it. Learning that BonBot was founded by extremely impressive King veterans made us even more intrigued.
May 23, 2021

Bob W is climate neutral

What’s climate neutrality, you ask? It’s similar to being ‘carbon-neutral’ but considers all climate-warming gases, not just carbon dioxide. Our Portfolio company, Bob W, is reducing their impact on the environment by double offsetting their emissions and working to emit less in the first place.
May 12, 2021

Contractbook closes Series B to lead a revolt against PDF’s!

We are revolutionizing the existing online contract signing tools of today by creating the contract management platform of tomorrow and showing people that simple PDFs are an impediment to today’s efficient work environment,” says Contractbook founder and CEO Niels Martin Brochner.
May 4, 2021

Tame raises €4.6 Million in seed round

The funding is expected to power up the headcount at Tame, with more than 35 positions now up for grabs, and aggressively target and expand in the UK market. The company is also projecting revenue growth of 4-5x in 2021, which would then put them in the black, and be primed for a large A round in Q1 of 2022.
April 15, 2021

Monta secures $4.9 million to provide access to charging stations for all

Meet the newest member of our Portfolio: the next-generation app for EV charge point management and optimization - Monta. Founded by dedicated engineers and tech-minded professionals, the €4 million will enable them to enter 10 new European markets and hire new colleagues. (DK)
April 13, 2021

Google endorses Normative, who automates climate impact work

With its software, Swedish Normative visualizes the climate impact of a company's actions and suggests ways of addressing and improving it. Financial support from Google means that the company is ready to expand its services. (SWE)
April 9, 2021

Bob W raises $11 million for apartment hotels

During the pandemic, Bob W has reached occupancy rates as high as 90% at its properties in Estonia and Finland. They've now secured their first apartments in London and is opening properties in central Helsinki this Spring. “Despite the pandemic, our revenue grew significantly in 2020,” said Niko Karstikko, CEO and co-founder. Bob W expects to double its headcount this year.
March 19, 2021

Why We Invested in Digitail

"There are few things with my job that I appreciate more than when people drastically surpass all my expectations!" - Sara Rywe, Investor here at byFounders, was so impressed by the founder's tenacity, extraordinary grit and structure, she knew we absolutely needed to be part of their journey.
March 17, 2021

Digitail raises $2.5 million and expands to the US

The platform is currently improving the workflow of more than 2,000 veterinarians in 16 countries. Its integrated customer app has enabled 500,000 pet parents to access all their medical information in real-time and to connect with their vet instantly.
March 11, 2021

Proper closes a $4.6 million seed round

Proper has made strides toward establishing itself as the preferred platform among landlords in Denmark. Today, over 3,500 leases are managed through Proper, resulting from a growth rate exceeding 200% in 2020. The service handles all day-to-day administration, payments, bookkeeping, communication with tenants, and more. 
February 21, 2021

Why we invested in Proper

At byFounders, we instantly got excited about the idea of building a digital property manager that automates all manual tasks while also ensuring that the property owner and landlord feel in control. More importantly, we were captivated by the founders.
January 22, 2021

SafetyWing raises $8 million to expand its health insurance for ‘Digital Nomads’

SafetyWing, a Norwegian startup providing health insurance to remote and gig economy workers, has raised $8 million to expand its product offerings. The company operates in the burgeoning field of insurtech and provides insurance cover to remote workforces, or ‘digital nomads’, through its Remote Health product, especially those working across borders and in different jurisdictions.
December 9, 2020

Contractbook raises $9.4 million in Series A funding

Contractbook, an end-to-end contract lifecycle management platform, raked in $9.4 million in its Series A round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners.The Copenhagen-based software company will use its new funding to "aggressively" enter the US market, and take on existing players in the contracts space, like DocuSign.

Delete me when done