Skej’s AI meeting scheduling assistant works like adding an EA to your email

Date:


AI may not be up to the task of replacing Google Search just yet, but it can be useful in more specific contexts — including handling the drudgery that comes with performing everyday tasks, like scheduling meetings. That’s the premise behind the new startup, Skej, which offers an AI assistant you can loop into your emails to find the best time for everyone to meet.

Unlike other scheduling solutions, like Calendly, Skej doesn’t require you to browse through someone’s availability to find a time to meet. In fact, if someone sends you a Calendly link, Skej will scan the link to find slots where both of you have mutual availability and then put a meeting on your calendars.

“I’ve never met anyone in my life who loves scheduling meetings,” says Skej co-founder and CEO Paul Canetti.

The New York-based serial entrepreneur, who previously founded and sold no-code app development platform MAZ Systems, had also worked on another meetings startup called Bounce House. In that case, the service allowed people to pay to book blocks of time with professionals like yoga or piano teachers.

Skej Team, CTO Anindya Mondal, CEO Paul Canetti, COO Justin Canetti
Image Credits: Skej

The same founding team from those former efforts and others returned to work on Skej, including Canetti, his brother Justin, CTO Anindya Mondal, and a fourth co-founder, Simon Baumer, who was lost to cancer three months after founding Skej last August. (The team has a tribute page to Simon on Skej’s website, crediting him with the creation of “the core of the product today.”)

As Paul explains, Calendly is useful and has built an “incredible business,” he says, but he didn’t like publicizing every free time slot he had. The only time he was ever truly satisfied with scheduling was when he had a human assistant, like an EA. Unlike a tech platform, a human could easily understand the context around meetings and know whether to shuffle the calendar to fit in someone important, even if you were scheduled as busy, for example. That led to the idea of creating an AI assistant that could do the same.

Image Credits: Skej

To use Skej, you don’t need to download an app or visit a website — you simply add its email address to your conversation. Later, Skej will also have a phone number to add to text chats, as well. The service today works with any email platform, like Gmail, Outlook, and others. It currently integrates with other programs, too, like Zoom and Google Calendar with support for Outlook Calendar coming in the next few weeks

Using Skej only requires you to add the email to your conversation and then ask it to find times to meet in your reply. For example, when TechCrunch was scheduling an interview with Paul, he replied “Skej, can you offer some times that might work this week?” and the AI assistant emailed me back with options as well as a link to automatically connect my calendar to find a time. After replying with my preference, Skej replied the meeting was set and added it to the my calendar.

The system works because the Skej user — in this case, Paul — has permitted it to access his calendar. Skej was simply sending the calendar invite on his behalf.

Had I clicked the included link, however, Skej could have automatically booked the meeting without any back-and-forth. This latter option works best for internal teams where many people have to come together to find a time slot that works for everyone in the group.

Under the hood, Skej leverages different LLM models, including those to interpret the language in the email, then break it down into data that’s fed into Skej’s proprietary system.

Image Credits: Skej

“We call it internally, the brain…and the Skej brain is like a scheduling engine, almost like a marketplace for matching times,” Paul says. “So you can have different people in there, in different time zones, with different considerations and different conflicts and different preferences,” he continues. “And it’s trying to negotiate to find a match. Then…it spits the match or suggested times or the data back out, and an LLM helps craft a message that sounds natural when it’s going back,” Paul notes.

Skej also allows users to categorize different contacts to be associated with different calendars, like your work calendar or your personal calendar. In time, Skej will be able to make this type of categorization possible with natural language, too, Paul belives. For now, there’s a more traditional dashboard you can use to set up your preferences and integrations.

Image Credits: Skej

One thing Skej doesn’t plan to do, however, is build an app.

“It’s funny, it’s a question we get from VCs a lot, too…it’s like, ‘well, eventually you’re gonna have an app, right?’,” says Paul. But Skej, he says, is meant to be “totally agnostic to the tools that you already use and like and it can adapt to whatever workflow you’ve already got going on,” he explains.

“It’s not forcing you into a particular app or a particular thing,” he adds.

Skej’s pre-seed investors include Betaworks, Mozilla Ventures, Stem AI, Spice Capital, Deftly.vc, and Differential Ventures. The round was just short of a million, says Paul. Skej’s remotely distributed team includes the three co-founders and two other full-time engineers.

The service, now in public beta, is currently being used by over 1,000 users. Skej is free for the time being while the team collects feedback, but will later add a paid tier.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

spot_imgspot_img

Popular

More like this
Related

Joe Biden Might Have Just Saved America

In a week that has been an epic...

Navy fighter pilots, sailors return home after months countering intense Houthi attacks

U.S. Navy fighter pilots came home to Virginia...

Biden is teetering. Trump’s plan? Let it happen.

13 minutes agoBy Holly Honderich, in WashingtonGetty Images"Yes, it will...

Stunning tourist paradise marred by frequent and fatal plane crashes

A tour company helicopter crashed off the Hawaiian...