⦿ INSIGHTS

Cutting Through Workplace Noise

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

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
Investor

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)
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