(pictured, Vetri Vellore, Ally.io founder and S. Somasegar)
Today we are excited to announce our investment in Ally.io.
Recently, we wrote about our core investment themes. Specifically, our investment theme relating to Ally.io is the Future of Work, Workforce and Workplace.
Ally.io is an integrated software system for improving business performance using OKRs (objectives, and key results) by effectively managing individual, team, unit and company goals in one unified environment. In an era where communication is the critical link in how employees perform, how they feel about their work and how deeply they understand the overarching business goals and mission is critical for high performance. Ally.io offers a tactical and practical way of keeping everyone on the same page and accomplishing company goals don’t just help people feel good but have significant positive impact on the business.
OKRs, or “Objectives and Key Results” is a goal setting methodology credited to Andy Grove and popularized by John Doerr. Large companies are increasingly adopting OKRs as a goal setting framework. Google, Intel, Zynga, Twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix, Tableau, Zendesk, etc. all use OKRs to help achieve corporate goals. We are also seeing mid-market companies adopt OKRs in their strategic and leadership planning processes. In many instances, leadership and executive teams are rolling out OKRs across a growing org, as part of a broader strategic refresh, but they can also be implemented at a team level for significant benefit.
In short, OKRs are here to stay. And with nearly $300 million being invested into these companies over the last two years, we expect this method of driving both business results and employee engagement to continue to spread beyond technology companies and become the norm in global companies.
At first glance, OKRs seem to be something that a spreadsheet could track. But the investment belies that simple take on the market. We believe these market trends are driving the growth:
- Companies want to move faster and be more agile
- Leaders recognize that employees aligned on goals and metrics are more productive
- Performance and measurement data is scattered across many applications, cloud native apps make it easier to access this data
- Daily/weekly reviews and integrated dashboards enable leaders to assess and course correct quickly when needed
These trends together are driving innovation in how people are reimagining what tools people need to be effective and successful in today’s day and age.
Vetri (Founder and CEO) and his team at Ally.io recognized these trends a few years ago when they first started working on Ally.io and have been building a simple, easy to use product to serve the market needs.
Customers that use Ally.io love the simplicity and ease of use that make Ally.io the core system of record for tracking, updating, and managing goals. Ally.io operates on the simple principle that people would love to stay in the tools that they use to get their work done and not have to transition back and forth between different tools. That’s why Ally.io has focused on building a broad and best-in-class integration with other tools and platforms including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Smartsheet, Asana and many more.
Vetri has taken the idea of OKRs and is building an intelligent business management system that unifies planning, people operations and projects. We believe this is a massive opportunity. The experience of 2020 and remote work has brought into focus the need for digital-first workflows to effectively manage the modern workforce.
A compelling vision and a huge market opportunity can be realized only with a world-class team. I have known Vetri for many years, going back to his time at Microsoft. Vetri is an experienced entrepreneur with a track record of success and a history of building strong teams. He bootstrapped his previous startup, Chronus, and had a successful exit. While at Chronus, he implemented OKRs across the company and has personally lived the roll-out and use of OKRs to drive effective teams. That experience directly led to the creation of Ally.io
It is this combination of a world class team, a huge opportunity, a compelling vision that is highly relevant in the rapidly changing work and workspace environment that led to our decision to invest in Ally.io from our Acceleration Fund. We are excited and eager to partner with Vetri and the Ally.io team in this journey to use OKRs at the core and build out the next generation intelligent business system that enables teams and organizations of all sizes to operate with the highest levels of agility, alignment and performance.