February 26, 2024

Gushwork.ai, a global platform designed to leverage artificial intelligence and human expertise to advance business process outsourcing (BPO), raised $2.1 million in pre-seed funding led by Lightspeed. B Capital, Sparrow Capital, Seaborne Capital and Beenext also participated in backing the startup, which launched in April.

In recent years, companies have invested heavily in hiring skilled professionals to oversee their operational processes, such as administration, human resources, payroll, or customer support. A growing alternative to internal hiring is to partner with a talent agency or BPO to outsource or use platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to find freelancers who can handle process-oriented tasks. However, due to ongoing inflation, this has become a significant cost factor. Gushwork.ai Committed to solving this problem in the market with its artificial intelligence-driven cross-border platform.

The startup offers a curated marketplace that includes offshore workers trained to use various artificial intelligence applications to help businesses execute their processes efficiently. It allows entrepreneurs to outsource tedious workflows and focus only on strategically important tasks.

Nayrhit Bhattacharya, co-founder and CEO of Gushwork.ai, calls this process “workforce hyperification,” as companies hire talent from different markets to perform manually-driven operational functions on a part-time basis. In January, he co-founded Gushwork.ai with Adithya Venkatesh (CPO), with a usage-based pricing model.

“Businesses don’t need to hire full-time employees,” Bhattacharya said in an interview with TechCrunch. “They can use someone for a few hours — three hours this week, 40 hours the next week — and then not use them the next week.”

In addition to providing opportunities for part-time overseas talent, Gushwork.ai also trains and equips its employees with artificial intelligence tools, allowing them to adapt to many workflows that were previously considered creative, rather than merely process-oriented. These can generate realistic blog designs, convert webinars to blogs, generate images for blog writing, write blog posts on different topics, and even do SEO. Generative AI tools enable a large workforce to perform such creative tasks without the need for special skills.

“You don’t need a 3D graphic designer yourself, or you don’t need to spend three months on Upwork or Fiverr looking for the right 3D graphic designer or photorealistic image copy generator,” Bhattacharya points out.

Gushwork.ai has trained its artificial intelligence-enhanced employees to perform various tasks such as lead generation, email marketing, ad management, lead engagement on social media platforms, webinar moderation and marketing, social media management, responding to inbound leads, CRM setup, social media analytics data scraping, lead outreach, and campaign management, among others. These were originally intended to streamline sales and marketing operations workflows. However, the startup also plans to expand into more professional roles in the future.

In its first three months of operation, Gushwork.ai has had more than 50 businesses adopt its platform to delegate more than 200 complex workflows. Bhattacharya told TechCrunch that about 80 percent of customers actively use the platform on a weekly basis, and almost 90 percent use it monthly.

The startup’s main overseas focus is on SMEs and self-reliant startups in the US and Canada, with team sizes ranging from 2 to 20-30 members. Bhattacharya said that 80% of its current customer base is small and medium enterprises.

While developed economies are the main market for Gushwork.ai, nearly 20 percent of the company’s customers are also from India, Bhattacharya said. The startup also sees India and the Philippines as initial supply bases for its overseas talent, though it hopes to build up its workforce base in different countries over time.

“The era of remote work has unlocked many new job opportunities and workflows that can be performed anywhere in the world. This goes beyond the traditional IT services or BPO industries. Gushwork.ai is capitalizing on the cross-border cost arbitrage ride and is building a unique platform for businesses to delegate some of the most complex workflows to an elite on-demand offshore workforce trained in AI tools and applications. We are excited to partner with the team as they leverage AI to innovate and revitalize the future of outsourcing.” Rahul Tane, Partner, Lightspeed ja said in a prepared statement.

In the coming months, Gushwork.ai plans to use the new funding to strengthen quality control as well as data security and privacy. It also hopes to build features to help businesses create and document complex processes in Gushwork.ai’s platform and use them as large training datasets to automate workflow lists. In addition, it plans to spend some money on content-led organic marketplaces and personal-building channels to attract new customers.

The startup currently has more than 25 full-time and part-time employees spread across three countries, with Bhattacharya in Brooklyn and three founding members and co-founder Venkatesh in Bangalore, India.