Investing in Atlys

The last eighteen months of COVID reminded us all how important travel is–it feels like we’ve all had to put trips on pause. For me, restricted travel has meant not being able to visit my family in India. For others, it meant postponed vacations, or missing that dream trip they always wanted to go on. And for some, it’s meant real stress over not being able to make an urgent trip in a time of need.

As the world slowly figures out a return to safe travel, the paperwork and processes around international travel has been complex and confounding. Travelers must deal with rapidly changing vaccine and testing requirements, paperwork, and several disjointed government systems–all leading to long hours of stress and, in the worst scenarios, airport horror stories even after landing at your destination. The pandemic has added to what was already a complex travel paperwork system that frustrated travelers have been forced to navigate for decades.

Atlys attempts to fix all this by simplifying the travel paperwork process. The company’s focus is on building a digital layer over archaic systems that can also adapt to changing rules and requirements now part of our “new normal” (from vaccine, testing, and quarantine requirements, to the maze of color coded countries, the list seems endless).

How does it work for travelers? The Atlys app asks you a simple set of questions and then processes all the paperwork and payments. It is travel visas the way we always wished they were. Are you an American citizen looking to holiday in Santorini? Or an Indian planning to travel to Spain? Just pick your passport and the country you’re traveling to, and Atlys will make the visa application process seamless and clearly outline any travel requirements, in under 10 minutes.

As an immigrant, Atlys deeply resonates with me. I spent years figuring out arcane visa processes, waiting in lines at consulates, navigating poorly designed websites. If you’re someone who moved here to the US from another country, you’re probably very familiar with this pain. It’s the app I wish I had a decade ago.

When I first saw the Atlys experience, I immediately wanted to meet founder and CEO Mohak Nahta. We had long known Mohak by reputation for being a star product builder at Pinterest. But when I met him, it quickly became clear why Mohak was a special founder. Mohak had personally been through the “idea maze” for Atlys when coming to the US as an immigrant and experiencing first hand the issues involved with international travel. When you use Atlys, you can immediately tell it was built by someone who had deeply felt this pain and is on a mission to make it better.

When we’re lucky, travel is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things we get to do. Atlys’ mission of enabling everyone to travel freely is one we’d all love to see come to life. I’m thrilled to announce a16z is leading Atlys’s seed round of funding. Traveling anywhere soon? Check out Atlys!

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