Reworkd AI has closed $1.65 million CAD ($1.25 million USD) in pre-seed financing from Canada’s Panache Ventures and California-based tech accelerator Y Combinator (YC).
The Canadian-founded, San Francisco-headquartered startup, which is currently participating in YC’s Summer 2023 cohort, is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) agent platform.
“There’s a huge interest on the business front for automation like this.”
– Asim Shrestha, Reworkd
Reworkd raised this round on the heels of its April beta launch of consumer-facing AgentGPT, which has since amassed over 400,000 users and more than 25,000 stars on GitHub with no marketing. “It just kind of took off like a rocket,” Reworkd co-founder and CEO Asim Shrestha told BetaKit in an interview.
Now, Reworkd plans to use this capital to fuel the public launch of AgentGPT and the beta launch of Reworkd for Business, its new AI agent offering designed to help businesses automate repetitive tasks and meet rising demand from enterprises looking to deploy AI.
“There’s a huge interest on the business front for automation like this,” said Shrestha. “We think that’s where really the value of AI agents can come from.”
The round, which closed in May and represents Reworkd’s first funding to date, was raised via simple agreement for future equity (SAFE).
“Reworkd is at the forefront of the emerging AI agent market,” said Panache Ventures general partner Chris Neumann in a statement. “Not only did they experience astounding growth with the initial release of AgentGPT, but they’ve been able to cultivate that into both a passionate developer community and a highly-engaged customer base. We’re thrilled to partner with them as they build the future of AI business agents.”
Reworkd is led by a group of first-time founders from Vancouver in Shrestha, CTO Adam Watkins, and COO Srijan Subedi.
Shrestha and Watkins both studied computer science at Simon Fraser University, and served in AI-related roles at the British Columbia Cancer Research Institute before going on to work as software engineers at Amazon Web Services and Article, respectively. For his part, Subedi focused on science at the University of British Columbia, spending time at Stemcell Technologies and The Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.
The company moved to San Francisco to take part in YC and the AI boom. “We want to be as close to ground zero as possible for all of the latest changes,” said Shrestha.
According to Shrestha, the trio began exploring and working on what eventually became Reworkd months prior to the current AI hype cycle. Shrestha acknowledged that this timing helped fuel the traction that Reworkd has been able to achieve with AgentGPT.
“Everything kind of amalgamated into this perfect moment for us where we were building something incredibly cool, where there was a bunch of interest within the market, and we had a product ready to deliver that customers were genuinely interested in,” said Shrestha.
According to Shrestha, AI agents consist of a mixture of three different things: a powerful large language model (LLM), access to external-facing tools such as Google Search or Microsoft Word, and a “self-recursive agent loop” that permits them to think and reason about given tasks—enabling them to fulfill more complex duties than chatbots.
“With the automation tools of the past, you could automate things on the edge of your business,” said Shrestha. “What we’re trying to do is leverage AI agents to help [companies] automate the core of their business.”
While Reworkd is currently leveraging LLMs from OpenAI, Shrestha claimed the startup is currently model-agnostic, and may explore using LLMs from other sources or fine-turning its own models in the future.
Over the past few months, Reworkd has been working with companies in the marketing, real estate and manufacturing sectors to develop its business-to-business offering in closed beta.
While Reworkd is based in San Francisco currently, Shrestha said that Reworkd plans to build a presence in Canada and hire north of the border in the future. “We absolutely love Canada,” he added. “We want to be the next great Canadian company.”
Feature image courtesy Reworkd AI.