Why we invested in the future of the calendar with Israel's Magical
AGP invests in Israeli founders and helps accelerate their growth in the United States. Our approach has been described as a "pull" strategy: We spend hundreds of hours with our U.S. corporate partners to understand their technology needs, which drives and derisks our deployment of capital.
During our conversations with executives at some of the largest companies in America — including financial-services firms, airlines, manufacturers, technology companies, and more — we heard several consistent priorities around “The Future of Work” that will not surprise anyone in the post-COVID world, specifically related to recruitment and retention of talent.
But the themes of employee productivity and employee health were also repeatedly heard. In a post-pandemic hybrid working environment, one executive asked us, “How do I know if my team is fully engaged? If I can’t walk by them daily, how do I know if they’re burned out and overworked? How do I know if they feel neglected and undervalued?”
Scratching the surface of these questions repeatedly with our corporate partners led us to some clear conclusions:
The calendar is broken
Amazingly, today’s enterprises use calendars developed more than 20 years ago.
Nearly every enterprise tool has been updated, disrupted or transformed over the last decade, from communication (Slack) and spreadsheets (Airtable) to customer relationship management (Salesforce) and presentations (Loom).
Everything, that is, except the calendar.
We're all using the same Microsoft, Google and Apple clients that were literally designed in the 20th century.
To be more clear: Scheduling and productivity have not been redesigned for the 21st century, and the data and our research demonstrate the hit on productivity: 64% of meetings come at the expense of core work; companies lose 31 hours per-month due to poorly designed meetings; and 71% of meetings are considered time wasted.
The cost: $399 billion annually, not to mention the impact on morale and turnover.
Magical founder and CEO Tommy Barav not only shared our hypothesis around productivity and scheduling, but had dedicated most of his adult life to solving the problem.
The founder of the 30,000-strong Supertools developer community, Tommy’s obsession with workflow efficiency — and his deep experience working with global corporations in the space — put him in a unique position to understand and solve the challenges of workplace productivity.
Tommy’s insight on the market, and his real-time feedback from the SuperTools community, enabled him and his team to quite literally reinvent time management, transforming the calendar from a block of hours to the center of workflow.
As Tommy’s customers and community-members communicated to him, the disparate silos of tools related to meetings — note-taking, scheduling, collaborating, communicating — shouldn’t live adjacent to the calendar … they should be embedded in it.
Magical makes the calendar the locus, not the periphery, of workflow. By enabling sophisticated notetaking in-event, adding collaboration functions with colleagues, and optimizing task accomplishment, Magical eliminates the need to process action items and information sharing with secondary platforms.
Conclusion: Direct match with our corporate relationships
There was much to like about Magical when we invested: A dynamic founder, a fantastic team, a big bold vision, an untapped market opportunity, and a massive built-in community of tens of thousands of likely users, all zealous about workplace productivity.
But the intersection of Magical’s vision and our corporate relationships made it clear that there was a direct line between Tommy’s vision and the potential for widespread corporate market adoption. It became immediately clear that we could help Magical in more ways than one.