Canadian Manufacturing

Wrk announces $55M in funding for automation platform

by CM Staff   

Financing Human Resources Manufacturing Technology / IIoT Infrastructure automation Economy financing human resources labour shortage Manufacturing Technology

The trend for automation adoption has been amplified significantly by the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Wrk co-founders David Li and Mohannad El-Barachi in good spirits after raising $55 million in Series A funding. (CNW Group/Wrk)

MONTREAL — Wrk Technologies Inc. (Wrk), a Montreal-based automation start-up trying to transform and scale the delivery of work, has secured CAD$55M (USD$43M) in cumulative seed, Series A, and debt financing after completing its Series A led by White Star Capital and OMERS Ventures. The total financing announcement includes CAD$12.5M (USD $9.6M) in previously raised seed financing from original seed investors Real Ventures and Desjardins Capital.

Founded by CEO Mohannad-El Barachi and COO David Li in 2019, Wrk is currently serving a diverse roster of clients in North America and Europe, including communications and PR giant Cision, media conglomerate Gannett, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), and international non-profit Penny Appeal. Wrk’s Hybrid Automation platform is the first process automation solution to combine workplace automation with a skilled human workforce. By enabling organizations to automate routine tasks and freeing employees to dedicate more time for critical growth tasks, Wrk is trying to help organizations scale the delivery of their work.

To achieve this goal the company has created a unique ‘building block’ structure that reportedly makes it easy for anyone (even those without IT experience) to build workflows that can leverage the very best of bots, API integrations, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The trend for automation adoption has been amplified significantly by the unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19. A 2021 survey from McKinsey found that 83 per cent of executives reported faster automation adoption rates in 2021 compared with before the pandemic.


However, while the demand for more traditional Business Process Automation (BPA) has increased steadily over the last decade, many first-generation automation solutions have struggled to ensure quick and easy adoption due to lengthy onboarding requirements, technical incompatibilities, and high up-front customization and implementation costs.

“The scale of the investment we’ve received at this early stage from highly respected investors is a tremendous validation of the level of ambition and size of the opportunity we’re going after,” said CEO Mohannad El-Barachi. “For far too long, businesses have struggled with adopting automation because of the high costs of entry, rigid implementation processes, and overly complex language. This investment is the first step in bringing to market an automation solution that breaks these barriers and delivers on its mission of making automation insanely simple.”

“Unlike a lot of automation solutions, Wrk isn’t trying to replace human ingenuity—instead, it is leveraging a skilled team to tailor automated solutions for each customer, so businesses can scale when and where they need to, without the barriers that exist today. We hear from companies every day who are struggling to bridge the gap between the potential of autonomous workflows and the time and cost to implement them. We see enormous potential in backing a company that can do just that.” said Laura Lenz, Partner at OMERS Ventures.


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