Artificial Intelligence

Our Investment in Adept

Empowering Knowledge Workers with AI
March 14, 2023
min read

As we see it there is no question that we’re on the cusp of a new technology inflection point. Mobile, cloud, and the internet itself all fundamentally changed the way we live and work, but the advent of this new AI era we believe will eclipse them in scale, scope and speed of change. While exciting AI developments in text and image generation have captivated the world in recent months, we’ve been particularly excited about technologies that transcend the novelty of composing sonnets, generating artwork and writing essays on our behalf. In our view the real game changing moment will come when we enable knowledge workers to escape mundanity by giving them the power to seamlessly execute any task they can put into words…effectively enabling anyone to do what formerly only a handful of experts previously could.

In Adept we found a brilliant team that is thoughtfully working toward constructing exactly that—an AI teammate to assist with many of the tasks we do on a computer. Rather than suggesting action, Adept’s Action Transformer can take actions on our behalf—a compelling proposition for anyone whose workdays are filled with highly repetitive, low yield and sometimes soul sucking tasks.  

We’re no strangers to prior attempts at workforce augmentation in the enterprise, though earlier waves of technologies such as robotic process automation (“RPA”) never quite got us to where we thought they would. Now, with Adept, AI can be accessible to all knowledge workers out of the box; a simple “hey, log this meeting and enter notes into my CRM” or “sort my data by country and give me the total sales for each geography” can yield meaningful results for users. In other words, we can now avail of Real (sic) Process Automation.

Beyond the technology itself, what struck us about Adept was the genuine, careful consideration of their veteran founding team—David Luan, Maxwell Nye, Augustus Odena, Erich Elsen, Anmol Gulati, Kelsey Szot, and Fred Bertsch. While Adept is pushing AI frontiers, their approach is decidedly human-centered. This is not a story of replacing knowledge workers, but rather seeking to empower  them in the driver’s seat, with a machine riding alongside, to discover new solutions, enable better decision-making, and give us more time for the parts of work we love and yet somehow deprioritize.  

Today, at General Catalyst we are delighted to announce that we are leading Adept’s $350M Series B funding round. This funding will seek to further support Adept’s productization, along with continued investment in technology and talent. Adept’s mission—’to empower knowledge workers everywhere’—is highly aligned with GC’s commitment to Responsible Innovation and investing in technology that promotes inclusive prosperity. We believe AI is the next technological quantum leap, and it’s essential that we build it right from the start—with an eye towards minimizing unintended consequences, and in service to empowering (not disenfranchising) human beings. Adept has stood out as a standards-setting leader in the process of building its platform, ensuring that conversations around rights to safety, security, and privacy are central to the product development discussions. We are proud to partner with a team that we believe possesses an unmatched depth of expertise and integrity in shaping AI’s future.

Our GC investment team—Deep, Ragavan, and Chris—are eager to leverage our operational, product and technology expertise (honed over decades at Google, Meta, and Linkedin) to support these extraordinary founders.