Hoop uses AI to automatically manage your to-do list

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried every to-do list app and productivity system, only to find yourself giving up sooner than later because sooner than later, managing your productivity system becomes another drain on your productivity. Hoop, a productivity startup founded by a group of early Trello employees, wants to use AI to help you automatically generate and track your to-do list.

The company today announced a $5 million seed funding round led by Index Ventures,  with participation from Origin Ventures, Divergent Capital, and Chingona Ventures.

Image Credits: Hoop

The core idea behind Hoop is that it will use AI to automatically capture potential tasks from Google Meet and Slack meetings and Slack messages (with other platforms coming later, starting with email) and pull those into the Hoop to-do list.

The company was founded by Stella Garber, Brian Schmidt, and Justin Gallagher. Garber, who is Hoop’s CEO, led marketing at Trello, while Gallagher was the first product person at Trello and built the company’s mobile app, and Schmidt led operations, finance and legal.

“We were thinking about the next step in our careers and we just really wanted to recapture the magic of the early days of Trello and do it again,” Garber said. As the team looked at how the landscape had changed, they realized that now, more than ever, people are being bombarded with meetings and messages and needed a way to track everything they had to do, but then ended up spending too much time managing their productivity tools.

“If you started with AI as the starting point for task management, what could you do differently? I think that was a real lightbulb moment for us, because we realize that so many of the existing platforms have to layer in and add AI on top to make their existing things work,” Garber said. And indeed, an AI bot that joins meetings, transcribes them and takes notes isn’t exactly new at this point, but the Hoop team argues that none of these existing platforms focus on productivity and todo lists — and none of the teams working on them have the pedigree of the Hoop founders given their experience at Trello.

Currently, Hoop is a bit of a single-player experience, but Garber tells me that the company plans to add more team features in the future. “We are really, really focused on making [Hoop] as useful for the individual as possible before we expand to teams, but it’s a very natural thing for us to do,” Garber said. And while Hoop right now mostly looks like a standard to-do list, the company plans to add different views over time as well.

In addition to the institutional investors who participated in this round, Hoop also brought on a mix of angel investors, including Wade Foster, the CEO of Zapier; Job van der Voort, the CEO of Remote; Andy Dunn, the former CEO of Bonobos; Annie Duke, the first woman to win the World Series of Poker; Maria Katris, the CEO and co-founder of BuiltIn; Maggie Adhami-Boynton, the CEO and co-founder of ShopThing; and Sean Harper, CEO and co-founder of Kin.

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