SAN FRANCISCO, April 8, 2020 — Tonkean, the operating system for operations teams, today announced the completion of a $24 million Series A round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, to introduce Adaptive Business Operations (ABO) software to enterprises. Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Raviraj Jain will join Tonkean’s board. Foundation Capital, who led Tonkean’s $7.2 million seed round last year, also participated along with Magma Venture Partners and Slow Ventures.
Operations is the foundation of every business. Yet, the operations function is often neglected. Although operations teams now exist across all critical functions—like sales, marketing, customer success, legal, IT, HR, development, product, and finance—they still lack a dedicated toolset or platform designed specifically to help them maximize their value by creating internal processes that are efficient, empowering, and adaptive.
Instead, operations teams end up being forced to create manual processes, which leads to employee frustration, constant change management, and endemic business inefficiencies.
“The world needs to start thinking differently about how to solve operational challenges,” says Sagi Eliyahu, co-founder and CEO of Tonkean. “Business processes are about people, not only data. We need to start thinking people-first, as opposed to tech-first. For too long, we’ve subscribed to the ‘there’s an app for that’ approach, but that’s not always the solution you need. In order to create efficiencies in our own businesses’ and people’s unique reality, we need technology to easily adapt to our needs, instead of forcing us to learn a new app.”
What operations teams need is a new type of software designed to allow them to quickly deliver tailored solutions that optimize their unique set of processes, people, and systems—without relying on engineering resources. To this end, Tonkean has evolved and expanded upon its human-in-the-loop robotic automation technology to create a new, more dynamic and flexible category of software: Adaptive Business Operations, or ABO.
At the center of ABO are adaptive modules, a new type of software entity that focuses on the business logic of a particular process. Unlike apps, adaptive modules can flexibly connect to the interfaces users already use—forms, email, chat, or other tools—based on the needs and preferences of each individual. Each adaptive module can also connect with 1000+ different enterprise systems or databases behind the scenes to push and pull data.
Tonkean’s no-code platform enables operations teams to quickly create adaptive modules to solve their unique challenges in a way that doesn’t require new systems or engineering work. By leveraging the platform, businesses of all sizes can drive faster SLAs, higher customer satisfaction, and greater efficiency. Fast-growing startups can adapt more quickly to changing business demands, and Fortune 100 enterprises can drive efficiencies with minimal change management.
“With Tonkean, we’ve seen customers eliminate manual, low-value work for certain processes, like chasing data in internal audits, for example, which amount to over 30% of an entire department’s time,” says Eliyahu. “In areas of customer or internal service, they’ve been able to reduce SLAs and turnaround time from 2-3 days down to 3 seconds, without any change of behavior. This, in turn, has massively improved customer retention and accelerated cycles for contracts and sales.”
Operations teams in companies like TripActions, Hopper, Take-Two Interactive, and many more are already leveraging Tonkean to orchestrate a wide range of processes such as triaging high-volume support requests, auto-handling routine legal or IT issues, proactively chasing sales opportunity updates, automatically following-up on internal projects, and more. This all comes at a fraction of the cost and time, compared to buying or building software.
There’s also, of course, a sense of urgency compelling Tonkean’s mission right now. Even just over the last month, existing customers have leveraged Tonkean to deal with unprecedented operational shocks. “After building up an automation infrastructure anchored around Tonkean, we have been able to service tens of thousands of distressed travelers during the current pandemic by leveraging the platform to expand our messaging capabilities,” says Nicolas Botero, implementation specialist at Hopper, a travel booking site that’s been using Tonkean to power its customer service processes. “At Hopper we strike to have a bias for action, and we would not have been as flexible and decisive in these difficult times without Tonkean’s support.”
“Operational excellence is critical for start-ups and enterprises alike, both as a competitive differentiator in boom years but also as a means of survival in market downturns,” says Raviraj Jain, partner at Lightspeed focused on enterprise technology. “Tonkean’s unique, people-centered approach is the key to unlocking the true potential of using technology to drive process efficiency. I’m excited to join Tonkean’s journey to champion the importance of business operations.”
Tonkean considers Lightspeed an ideal and crucial partner. With their new funding, Tonkean will be able to further enable operations teams by investing more heavily in research and development and accelerating go-to-market activities.
“Lighspeed’s deep experience in enterprise technology and global reach makes them a perfect partner for us as we continue to scale,” says Eliyahu. “We’re excited to have Raviraj join our board as well on our mission to empower and transform operations in the enterprise.”
In addition to building the first-ever platform for operations, the company also announced the first-ever cross-functional ops community. Along with a broad swath of enterprises, technology partners, and operations leaders, Tonkean looks to champion the growth of operations as the next critical function in the enterprise.
“We take pride in raising the capabilities and strategic importance of operations teams,” says Eliyahu. “The fact that, by utilizing Tonkean, ops teams can deliver solutions to their challenges in mere hours gives them the ability to impact the business in a way that was never possible before.”
North 6th Agency
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Over the past two decades, the Lightspeed team has backed hundreds of entrepreneurs and helped build more than 400 companies globally, including Snap, Nest, Nutanix, AppDynamics, MuleSoft, OYO, Guardant, StitchFix, and GrubHub. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage $7.9B across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in Silicon Valley, Israel, India, China, and Europe. www.lsvp.com
Tonkean is the operating system for operations teams. Tonkean’s Adaptive Business Operations platform gives business and functional operations teams the power to build a foundation for their unique set of systems, people, and processes to drive efficiency, flexibility, and scale. Founded in 2015, Tonkean is headquartered in San Francisco with R&D in Tel Aviv. To learn more, visit www.tonkean.com or follow @tonkean on LinkedIn or Twitter.