International travel is slowly opening up again, but that also means business and leisure travelers alike will once again have to think about visa restrictions as they take to the air. Nobody has ever enjoyed the process of applying for a visa, but Atlys promises to take the hassle out of the process. The company today announced that it has raised a $4.25 million seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Pinterest co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp also participated in this round, together with The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC (yes, those Chainsmokers), Long Journey Ventures, South Park Commons Fund and Ari Emmanuel’s Endeavor.
Atlys argues that it can take travelers up to 13 hours to work through the visa process for various countries — and that’s without trying to figure out the ever-changing COVID testing and vaccination requirements. While most business travelers work with agencies that speed up this process by quite a bit, especially for repeat applications, Atlys promises to bring the process down to five minutes.
Using the company’s iPhone app, travelers answer a few questions about their travels (where you are, where you are going, why you are traveling, etc.) and scan their documents. There are some smart integrations here, too, with the ability to take passport photos and then pick them up at Walgreens (or get delivery) or to ask your manager for a letter of employment signed through DocuSign.
Pricing depends on where you are and where you are going, but it tops out at about $50.
The company was founded by Mohak Nahta, who came to the U.S. as an immigrant himself. “I am thrilled to have such an incredible group of investors supporting Atlys and our mission,” he said. “It is with their invaluable experience and guidance that will propel us further in our quest to simplify travel and create a seamless process for all.”
The company plans to use the new funding to build out its team and expand its coverage across more country pairs.
“One of the things we look for in founders is ‘founder-product fit’, meaning does the founder have a unique insight into the market or problem they are trying to solve? As an immigrant myself, I immediately appreciated how deeply and personally Mohak also understood the cumbersome visa process, and how he was leveraging his insights to build Atlys,” said Sriram Krishnan, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “The magic of Atlys lies in its ability to connect many disparate systems behind the scenes, while offering a simple, streamlined end-customer experience.”
This post first appeared here: https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/28/atlys-raises-4-25m-to-make-visa-applications-faster-and-easier/