A new operating system for work: our investment in Qatalog

Published on
October 13, 2020
by
Toby Coppel
A new operating system for work: our investment in Qatalog

What will be the operations software to power the modern connected organisation? After several years asking this question, meeting Tariq Rauf in July 2019 was an epiphany. The Qatalog team is building the new infrastructure for work. Their mission is to eliminate “work about work” and empower millions of humans to focus on the work that matters, improving happiness and effectiveness across teams, companies and communities.

Tariq is the entrepreneur that you always hope to meet but rarely do. Few founders are as thoughtful, articulate and ambitious as Tariq: you’re inspired by his conviction that what they are building will change the world of work. The platform will give employees clearer visibility across their organisation, frictionless access to information and enable fluid natural collaboration, despite today’s overwhelming proliferation of SaaS tools. Tariq’s determination to build a team with the very best people possible is rare and rousing:he devotes an unusual amount of his time to researching and building relationships with the next 50 people he wants to recruit to Qatalog. And he's demonstrated an extraordinary ability to attract this world class talent to help realise Qatalog’s vision.

Like computers and programs, organisations and teams are complex systems, and with today’s workforce demanding new and better ways of working, the businesses that stay ahead will be those that critically review and update how they manage their operating systems. In a post-pandemic environment, keeping on top of all the threads running in a distributed, remote and cross-functional team is harder than ever, making the need for Qatalog still more salient.

It’s true that various pragmatic methods have been taken up  to address these challenges - check-ins, status updates, standups, Slack channels -  but these are not consistently reliable and can be noisy. Teams can also use a best-of-breed tool for every need - task management, performance goals, 1:1s, onboarding, feedback, questions, etc., but this typically leads to fragmented workstreams and effortful collaboration.

Leveraging an organisation’s internal “human graph”, Qatalog deeply understands the structure of how an organisation’s people, teams, projects, processes all tie together, enabling employees to communicate, find information and carry out daily tasks without needing to context-switch between multiple siloed tools. With their unified operating system for work, they bring together all of the SaaS building blocks of modern work, including Notion, Slack, Google Docs, Zoom, Confluence, Jira, Asana, and others.  It organizes and contextualizes these tools around the relevant people, teams and projects in a company and does so while imposing very low cognitive load, with intelligent defaults and capabilities over features.

At Mosaic, we recognise this is a crowded space exploding with point solutions. So, while it's not straightforward to make a bet on a new entrant, we believe that the platform approach, ease of use, and beautiful design will be key to determining the winner, along with an elegant bottom-up go-to-market.

We are thrilled to have led Qatalog’s seed round last summer, joined by a number of our favourite co-investors (Taavet Hinrikus, Paul Forster, Renaud Visage). We’re excited now also to be working with Irina and the Atomico team to realise Qatalog’s vision: to inspire joy in work for teams across the globe.