Georgian Partners Invests in

Justin LaFayette | News

The internet giants have an enterprise-sized problem.

Despite huge investments by all of the big consumer technology companies in artificial intelligence (AI), and the large amounts of consumer experience data available to them, they have very limited signals as to what happens in the enterprise. In fact, apart from internet click data, it’s actually the large enterprises and established brands that have the richest understanding of how business gets done. Whether it’s buying a car, getting a mortgage or visiting a doctor, it’s the large enterprises that have those signals available to them.

However for their part, those enterprises have little insight into the customer journey that happens on those internet platforms before customers transact with them. They are also far behind the consumer internet platforms in terms of AI adoption. And they face significant disruption from upstart competitors that are better suited to adopting new technologies and partnering with the internet companies that have taken over large parts of the customer journey in recent years.

Closing that gap between the enterprise and the consumer internet giants is the focus of the latest member of our portfolio:

Founded by former Facebook executive Steve Irvine, is based here in Toronto because both the city, and Canada as a whole, have a very rich pool of AI talent. Many of the major breakthroughs in AI during the past decade have come from Canadian researchers and many of the leaders of the big AI research labs around the world are Canadian, or have come through Canadian institutions.

Steve and his team are working on big, interesting problems at the intersection of AI, security and privacy, and next generation customer interaction using natural language interfaces. It’s also a very exciting time to be working in this market as enterprise AI is one of the fastest growing segments of the technology industry with IDC predicting that it will grow from an estimated $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion by 2020.

In Steve we see a unique set of skills and experience that, along with the deep pool of talent available here in Toronto, will enable to scale quickly. We believe this is a rare opportunity to be part of something that is very large and closely aligned with our applied artificial intelligence investment thesis.