A new company, Rhythms, wants to help organizations improve their productivity by using AI to identify the working patterns of top-performing teams.
Rhythms, which integrates with a business’ existing internal apps and platforms, identifies sets of activities — think business reviews, retrospectives and cross-functional meetings — that happen on a regular schedule or cadence. Leveraging AI, Rhythms then attempts to glean insights from these cadences, providing recommendations that teams and orgs can adopt to ostensibly better achieve their goals.
Vetri Vellore founded the company after selling Ally.io, the OKR software vendor he founded in 2018, to Microsoft around two years ago. Vellore, who was a product unit manager at Microsoft before settling on a more entrepreneurial path, is a fixture of the enterprise productivity software space, having launched Chronus, a talent and career development platform, prior to starting Ally.io.
Vellore was reluctant to provide much detail on how, exactly, Rhythms works leading up to the platform’s launch today. But he did reveal that, with Rhythms, teams can personalize and adopt the cadences of other teams within — as well as outside of — their organizations.
“Rhythms orchestrates the set of activities that align with a particular rhythm,” Vellore told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Rhythms’ AI-powered … system will transform the way teams work, dramatically simplify everyday workflows and allow organizations of all types to advance to new frontiers of performance.”
Setting aside for a moment Vellore’s hyperbole — and the privacy implications of a platform that scrapes calendar data — can embracing a team’s rhythm (so to speak) and ways of work actually help boost another team’s productivity? It’s an idea rooted in self-help books like Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” whose sales speak for themselves. But the evidence is far from conclusive.
Just because successful teams are doing something doesn’t mean it’s useful after all. Teams might, in fact, have routines and rituals that don’t fit the work culture of other teams. Often, success requires some risk, uncertainty and change — and rigid routines aren’t exactly conducive to that.
That’s all to say that Rhythms might not be the silver bullet that Vellore presents it to be — as intriguing an idea as it is.
The startup’s won over a few investors, however — even before it ven secures its first customer.
Greenoaks co-led a $26 million seed round in Rhythms with Madrona that had participation from Accel, Cercano and Founders’ Co-op. All of the VCs backed Vellore’s previous venture, Ally.io, implying that the investments are a vote of confidence in Vellore and not strictly Rhythms’ platform.
Vellore says that the funds will be put toward product development, growing Rhythms’ teams in Seattle and India (where most of the company’s engineering is being done) and working toward a platform preview for select customers in early 2024.
“Our investors are fully aligned with Rhythms’ mission and big goals to change how every business and team operates,” Vellore said. “Rhythms provides decision makers with previously hidden insights about how teams across the company approach work … With AI, Rhythms can understand the patterns of work hyper-performing teams are using at a company and provide other teams with the tools they need to personalize and adopt them.”