Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Genee, a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence-powered scheduling service.

Co-founders Ben Cheung and Charles Lee, both of whom plan to join Microsoft, started Genee in 2014 with the goal of streamlining the scheduling process for meetings, especially when large groups are involved. It does this by using natural language and plugging directly into email and other communication tools, pulling together calendars across multiple systems and then optimizing and rendering the best schedule based on the users and their priorities.

A virtual assistant is tasked with setting the meeting and it can function within just about any messaging app on the market.

First Round Funding, Then An Acquisition

Last year around this time Genee entered public beta and closed its first round of funding -- $1.45 million from Uj Ventures, Streamline Ventures, Garnett Ventures and additional angel investors.

Learning Opportunities

Genee addresses a very significant productivity drain in the modern workspace, co-founder Lee said when the company launched its public beta.

"We're faced with increasing challenges involving global workforces, different time zones and remote workers, and scheduling meetings has become a necessity but an increasingly time-consuming and laborious task. Add to that the ongoing challenge of conflicting availabilities across multiple calendaring systems, and scheduling events can be a tremendous drain on both time and resources."

Microsoft will be incorporating Genee into Office 365, according to Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Outlook and Office 365 productivity.