Last week was a busy time for SPC portfolio companies, with four launching publicly. To celebrate, the SPC Fund team wanted to give everyone a glimpse of why we backed these exceptional founders and exciting companies.
First up is Atlys, founded by SPC alum Mohak Nahta. Atlys takes the hassle out of getting a visa by handling the application process end to end. Mohak recently announced Atlys’ $4.25 seed round, with investors like a16z joining the team.
Why did we invest?
- Because of Mohak. We met Mohak when he joined SPC in late 2020. It was immediately apparent that he would run through walls to bring his vision to life. In the early days, Mohak ran every part of Atlys personally. We fondly recall him waking up at 5 AM to take a call from a frantic customer who was turning to Atlys days before a major trip after she accidentally botched her visa application process. He calmed her down and got her the visa the next day. This kind of relentless hustle is a very clear signal for investors.
- The mission. Half of SPC’s team are immigrants, and we empathize with Atlys’ mission acutely. Despite the fact that hundreds of millions of people apply for visas each year, the application process remains outdated and opaque. Atlys delivers a frictionless experience at a fraction of the cost of other services. Mohak managed to get the average application time down from 12.7 hours to 7 minutes. We think this product will impact the lives of millions and unlock new ways for people to travel.
Co-founders Grant Lee, Jon Noronha, and James Fox are reinventing slide decks and giving them superpowers with Gamma. They’re leveraging the best features of both docs and slide decks in a new and collaborative way. Gamma just announced a $7 million seed round led by Accel.
Why did we invest?
- The power of the product. When we first met Grant, he led off his presentation with a live demo. Despite only a few weeks of work, Grant, Jon and James had whipped together one of the best demos we’d ever seen. In just a few clicks and keystrokes they created a stunning memo on a topic of our choice. The memo was as simple to create as a document, but delivered a more stunning presentation experience. And we were all able to chat, edit, and collaborate on it live!
- The founder insights. It is no surprise that the presentation software market is large and growing in today’s age of remote work. Grant, Jon, and James had spent their entire careers living in slide decks and had a unique and opinionated view on what the future of the market was going to look like (hint: something like Gamma). We bought into their point of view and felt confident they could iterate with early users, particularly after hearing glowing stories about them from past colleagues.
Co-founded by Praty Sharma and Prasad Kawthekar, Dashworks is the one-stop-shop for all your company’s knowledge. The Dashworks team just introduced their product to the world. You can read about it in their first blog post here and sign up for access on the Dashworks site.
Why did we invest?
- A market shift. Early in the pandemic, Praty and Prasad concluded that remote work was here to stay. Knowledge by osmosis was being lost. Instead, organizations (including us) were producing massive amounts of documentation to stay afloat. Remote workers were using more tools than ever before, and this information was increasingly siloed. Everyone was running into one big problem: discoverability. While Google can answer any question you have in the public sphere, it was nearly impossible for employees to access similar search capabilities internally — except for a few fortunate companies that had invested thousands of engineering hours building internal tools. Praty and Prasad aimed to build the Google for private information. What if you could search across Slack, wikis, email, and the company directory using world class semantic search? We bought into the ambition and could see the results they were delivering to early users.
- Founder-market fit. Praty and Prasad are both deeply talented and proven search engineers. If someone can pull this off, it’s them. If you are interested in testing Dashworks, sign up on their website!
Ex-Apple engineers Amit Jain and Alberto Taiuti co-founded Luma to give everyone the power to bring real-world objects into the metaverse in photorealistic 3D. They just announced their $4.3m seed round and launched a ridiculously cool website.
Why did we invest?
- The founders. Amit and Alberto are very experienced computer vision engineers who bring complementary skill sets to the team. Their professional pedigree was a strong and important signal for such a technical product.
- The MVP tech. This is some sophisticated stuff. In just a few months, Amit and Alberto were able to put together a working demo using cutting edge ML and CV to produce photorealistic models that outperformed everything else in the market. We felt like quality was a huge differentiator given their use cases in ecommerce and other metaverse applications.
- The market. Everyone is talking about the emergence of the metaverse and augmented reality. The unanswered question is how we enable these paradigm shifts. Luma is bridging this divide by making it easy to capture ultra realistic representations of real world objects in 3D and view them in any virtual context. Enabling tech like Luma will be extremely valuable as more of the world has a digital corollary.