Read AI Raises $21 Million Series A

Read AI Raises Series A Localogy

Read AI, a company that uses artificial intelligence to mine online meeting content for greater organizational efficiency, has raised a $21 million Series A round. 

Goodwater Capital led the round while existing investor Madrona Venture Group also participated. As a result of its investment Goodwater partner Coddy Johnson joins Read Founder and CEO David Shim and Modronna Managing Director Matt McIlwain on Read’s board of directors.

Read operates in a space we follow that has a few different names. “Future of work” is a broad category description that captures several companies we cover, from Read AI to Howard Lerman’s Ro.am to Vinny Lingham’s Rumi.ai.

Another category that Read falls into is “Productivity AI”, although the company describes itself as “the leader in gen AI meeting summaries.” 

Regardless of the label Read uses, the investment is a vote of confidence in the notion of using AI to transform videoconferencing, something we now consider part of the plumbing of everyday work life, into a rich data resource that can help companies learn more about employee sentiment, find areas for improvement and eliminate inefficiencies like duplicated work. 

Read, founded in 2021 by Shim, Robert Williams, and Elliott Waldron, has raised more than $32 million since its inception. 

In addition to the new funding, Read has also rolled out several new features. These include Gen AI summaries, and “Readouts” for email and messaging on Gmail, Outlook, Teams, and Slack. 

Secret Sauce

As noted, Read’s secret sauce is in its aggregation of meeting notes to allow organizations to connect the dots across meetings and different bailiwicks within organizations. 

“This connected intelligence unifies your communications and empowers you and your team with personalized, actionable briefings, tailored to your needs and priorities,” Read says in a press release announcing the funding round and new features. 

Shim and I dove into many of these opportunities on a recent episode of Localogy’s This Week in Local podcast. 

E51 Videoconferencing as a Data Resource with Read AI’s David Shim

We will also have more opportunity to ask David about the space he occupies, as well as his views on entrepreneurship, fundraising, and key trends in local during a fireside chat I will conduct with David at the upcoming L24 Conference, April 15-17, in Arlington, Va. 

The ability to aggregate and mine video conferencing transcripts across organizations creates other opportunities for leaders. Some of these are potentially uncomfortable. On the podcast, I asked Shim about the potential for using Read to hold team members accountable for commitments made during meetings, for example. Shim acknowledged this on the episode but preferred to talk about how it frees up time for team members to spend on higher-value work (also very true). 

Read AI Makes Good on the ‘AI’ Part

David and I didn’t discuss on the podcast how AI solutions like Read could help organizations make some tough calls. For example, which departments are overstaffed, which managers are effective (or not), and so on. No one in the productivity AI space is talking about this use of AI. But that doesn’t mean organizations won’t explore these possibilities. 

Another way to look at it is that if these decisions are to be made (and they inevitably will), why not make good decisions using good data rather than arbitrary decisions based on little or no data?

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