WorkHack Pre-Read for Teammates
Thanks for taking the time to check out WorkHack. We don’t do a lot of PR or storytelling and like to keep our heads down and work— but that also means it is difficult for you to figure out what we do and who we are before the conversation.
To make this easier for you, we wrote a memo to set the right expectations—
WorkHack is building gamification using generative AI. Companies use WH to build trusting relationships with users at scale and convert the influence into transactions and habits. WH collects deep insights about users over multi-day conversations to achieve strategic objectives like conversion, retention and lead qualification for companies using natural language.
Starting with conversations as a medium, WH wants to be the product layer between Large Language Models and commercial applications making it easier for developers and internal teams to utilise the generative AI capabilities by building goal-driven safe abstractions.
WorkHack has processed almost 10 million turns of conversations for companies like Arvind Lifestyle Brands, Quess Corp, Hypd, Josh Skill, CSB Bank and others. Currently, onboarding customers like ManMatters and Porter.
During all this, we’ve remained extremely lean. For most of our lifetime, we’ve functioned with 5 full-time teammates, and recently expanded to 10.
We just raised our pre-seed round of $1.5 mil with Nexus Ventures and Together Fund.
I started WorkHack about two years back when I first discovered the magic of generative AI via a friend who was an NLP researcher at Georgia Tech and had beta access to GPT3. The ability to generate novel coherent sentences was akin to magic to me. Built some random Discord bots and showed them to a few founders and companies.
Someone got excited and took a bet on me. We got out the first customer in Assesshub— a recruitment assessment platform. Initially, we thought it would be a great idea to get AI to interview folks on your behalf but quickly realised hiring was a prediction problem and not a conversational one. But AssessHub was still using our product and onboarding very cool large customers we could have never imagined. We learnt they loved us because we were increasing the number of tests candidates did after we talked with them using AI.
In essence, we were good at getting people to do things because we were great at making small talk. Eg- “Hey go do that test” vs “Hey, now that we’re friends, why don’t you do that test for me?” But HRtech was a small industry and what our users paid us per conversation was not very high. The best use case would instead be in marketing tech where you could create additional revenue for companies by persuading users to buy stuff or renew their subscriptions by the power of conversations alone. That’s what we do now.
- We have about 10 large paying customers.
- Already processed about 900k conversations.
- The average Annual Contract Value is $50k. Highest contract for $100k.
- We charge per activated user per month, between the range of ₹3- ₹10.
- Raised $1.5 million. Almost cash flow positive. We run a great business ;)
There are two core values of WorkHack— Earnestness (we’re sincere about things we do, the customers we work with and the problems we solve) and Intentionality (we deeply care about doing things with strong answers to Why).
A few things we really care about—
- We want to be the good folks who win. We’re very aggressive about building things that matter and quickly. This means you have to be as desperate and paranoid as we are about adding value.
- We don’t like mercenary folks who don’t care about the companies and problem statements they work on. We understand not all life choices can be guided by your personal values but we’d expect you to be honest about the circumstances. But we cannot build a productivity software for X, or an ecosystem or a platform or anything with more than one layer of abstraction.
- Having even one paid customer is still a miracle to us as a team. We like folks with zero entitlement about their college or their ex-employer or anything else they’ve done in the past. We come from nowhere and have worked hard to earn our right to any customer, investor or teammate.
- We like to be brutally honest about whether what we do is real or not. We don’t like to bullshit ourselves and that’s precisely why our customers love us.
2 AI Engineer - Ex-Genesys (NLP Researcher), Ex-Oriserve (built AI for e-commerce)
2 Backend Engineers - Ex-head of engineering Damensch (tried to build an infra company)
1 Full-stack Engineer - Our only early-stage bet, one of the best hires!
1 Conversation Designer + 1 Account Manager (runs her own marketing company)
2 Product Managers - Ex-Josh (ran a Healthy snacking company), Ex-Vodafone UK (runs Bangalore Roomie as a side project)
and the founder 🩳
What we’ve learnt
- We’re not a good fit for someone looking for a chill job. We deeply care about what we do and expect full commitment to a hyper-growth startup at an early stage.
- Don’t expect certainty. We operate with a lot of paranoia. We’re well-capitalised and have infinite runway but we don’t take our existence as a company for granted. Early-stage startups should pivot every day and we’d be afraid if we stopped doing that.
- More chaos. We don’t have great documentation or processes that make your job as a developer easier. Criticise strongly and then participate strongly in fixing problems.
- A lot of premium on stability. Since our design is of a small team, we like folks with fewer variables in life (health, family, logistics).
- We’re a small team and intend to stay that way. Your decision-making matters and there’s no supervision in most cases, yet we expect you’re confident to defend the choices you make and push towards self-accountability.