Sydney startup ybot, a voice-activated autonomous work assistant, has raised $4.6 million in a seed round led by US VC Florida Funders,

The capital injection is for product development, sales, marketing and recruiting efforts, with plans to double the workforce in the coming year.

About 80% of employees are “deskless” – doing tasks outside an office, from trucking to warehouse, ybot co-founder and CEO Tomer Garzberg said there was an unanswered gap between frontline requests and real-time back office actions, and his startup’s solution is to bring screenless computing to the workplace.

ybot is like “Siri for work” to make employees more efficient, safer and more productive.

“The deskless workforce, which represents 80% of the global workforce, wantss software to help their employees become more productive and their work experience more enjoyable,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the other 20% of the workforce in office jobs experiences repetitive technology problems. Manual tasks are time consuming and costly; however, when those tasks are automated with ybot, the workforce can be better redeployed to other highly skilled jobs.”

Unoptimized workplace tooling costs US companies about $1.8 trillion a year, Garzberg said, and he built his startup with CTO Dima Galat, who is also a veteran of building fast and scalable artificial intelligence and robotic process automation (RPA). ) innovations for large companies.

ybot has partnered with Orange, VMware and Microsoft and its multilingual voice AI understands more than 40 languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin and Arabic, with plans to add more.

The embeddable SaaS middleware is embedded in existing enterprise ‘as a service’ products as a feature to enhance the end-user experience by automating mission-critical tasks through simple commands. The pre-trained multilingual AI interfaces with most voice or text channels such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack, and the RPA works with systems inside and outside any organization, including VMWare, SAP and Workday.

“For example, instead of contacting IT to solve basic technical problems, just explain your problem to ybot, and ybot will solve it for you immediately,” Garzberg said.

“While most chatbots are glorified FAQs, ybot brings Siri-like functionality to staff and turns speech into an appendix for employees.”

ybot is moving its headquarters to Florida this year.

Tom Wallace, Managing Partner at Florida Funders, said: ybot plays a vital role in the future of automation by removing friction in the workforce and allowing staff to focus on highly skilled tasks.

“We look forward to supporting ybot as it paves the way for the future of work and we are excited to have them located in our own backyard in Florida,” he said.

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