Montreal’s Wrk raised 55 million | To free yourself from “copy-paste”

Who wouldn’t dream of software that could remove duplicate Excel files, automatically search for potential customers on LinkedIn, find their address on Google Maps and send them an email invitation? Montreal entrepreneurs Mohannad El-Barachi and David Li are more than just a dream: they founded Wrk in 2019, a platform that automates more than 350 repetitive tasks.

Posted on February 2nd

Karim Benessaieh

Karim Benessaieh
The Press

With 55 million financing for its series A to be announced this Wednesday morning, “we’re going to 1500 tasks”, announced in an interview Mr. El-Barachi, CEO of the young company of 65 employees. The financing round was led by White Star Capital and OMERS Ventures.

The value, great for a Montreal startup, obviously reflects the interest of this niche. Wrk presents itself as “the first process automation solution” that combines human algorithms and operators.

Divide tasks

The idea came from Mr.’s former company. El-Barachi, the SweetIQ, was founded in 2010 and is mandated to evaluate the local impact of major marketing campaigns. SweetIQ was sold in 2017 to an American publisher, Gannett, who notably owns USA Today.

“It started with the challenges we have at SweetIQ, the obligation to do repetitive tasks, to produce research reports while integrating employees and customers across different systems, the CEO explained. These are processes that can be automated, but existing systems are limited and inflexible. »

The automation system developed by Wrk is not intended to be wall-to-wall. “Some tasks can be automated, others can’t. We want to find a solution that explains the steps one by one, in order to establish which task can go to a robot, which a human should do.»

In concrete terms, the Wrk platform consists of a library of 350 tools which each client can draw according to their needs. Billing for individuals or small businesses is every task done. Mr. El-Barachi provides an example of finding emails of potential customers, at a cost of $ 1.25 per use. Wrk’s largest customer pays monthly packages. Marketing, sales, human resources, customer support, finance, the “automated processes” offered by this platform affect almost all areas of business management activities.

The ultimate goal: “Most internal processes are 80% the same in every company,” El-Barachi said. These are the activities that people do every day. We think all the time is completely wasted. We find this time to make the most of their time, with their duties higher than copying and pasting. »

“Explosive” growth in sight

The Montreal company has approximately 50 clients, mainly in Canada and the United States, including communications and public relations giant Cision, Toronto’s designer of ordering software Notch and the companies Montreal and Pomelo Health and BrainBox. MAYROON. The platform, according to the company’s site, has completed more than 12 million automation tasks since its launch.

“Every day, we hear from companies struggling to bridge the gap between the potential of autonomous workflows and the time and cost to implement them,” said Laura Lenz, partner at OMERS Ventures. We see huge potential in supporting a company that can do that. »

Another pilot in the funding round, White Star Capital, said they were “immediately enthusiastic” about the Wrk product. “The growing adoption of automation tools by businesses, combined with the team’s unique approach that combines human intelligence and cutting-edge automation, has positioned the company for explosive growth,” said Christophe Bourque in the press release. , General Partner of White Star Capital.

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