San Francisco and New Delhi-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise startup Squad (previously known as Squadrun), has raised $2.1 million from India and Valley-based investors like Blume Ventures, Contrarian Capital, 91slingshot, Emergent Ventures, Abstract Ventures, Anthill Ventures, Axilor Ventures.
The round also saw participation from angel investors Gokul Rajaram, Product Engineering Lead at Square, and Shamik Sharma, Senior Technology Advisor at Myntra.Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures.
Squad will use the funds to scale its platform by expanding the technologies and products. Moreover, they are also planning to expand their workforce by hiring employees for the data teams in India and for the sales team in the US.
Explaining the reason behind the investment, Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures said:
We invested in Squad because they have made machine learning practical and powerful for enterprise operations. By efficiently blending human and machine tasks, it is a disruptive platform in the $300B business process outsourcing industry.
The company helps in automating the business processes for enterprises by merging the concepts of human intelligence and artificial intelligence in order to help businesses scale with unprecedented speed, accuracy, flexibility, and cost reductions.
Commenting on the occasion, Apurv Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO said,
Over the last 1.5 years, we have achieved product-market fit and turned into a profitable SaaS business. However, we wanted to invest ahead of revenue to scale the platform and get strategic investors on board. This is a very exciting time for all of us at Squad, as we gear up for our next stage of exponential growth!
Squad uses a workflow engine that differentiates business processes in an efficient manner. It manages its own proprietary workforce of independent contractors who are skilled and ‘matched’ for specific tasks. On top of this, at the nodal level of each workflow, Squad leverages ‘human-in-the-loop’ machine learning to automate parts of the process to bring in efficiency.
So far, Squad has connected more than 75,000 people across many countries which include India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Uganda, and Kenya to meaningful work opportunities through internet enabled smart devices.
The people benefitted from the squad typically include college students, young professionals and ‘stay at home’ mothers, who otherwise cannot reach traditional work infrastructure and/or resources, thereby decentralizing the access to work and earn. Squad’s top contractors earn 2.5 times more per hour working from home, than their counterparts working at an outsourcing center.
In February 2015, the startup raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a group of investors including Amit Ranjan of Slideshare, Deepinder Goyal (Founder of Zomato), Zishaan Hayath (Founder of Toppr), and Girish Khera (co-founder at Scientific Animations). Other startups in this segment include OneSpace, TaskRabbit, Twentify, etc.
With a simple yet audacious vision, ‘reimagining how work gets done’, Squad is going after the multi-billion dollar business process outsourcing industry by doing to operations what AWS did to in-house servers.