When most people think of “AI” they may imagine state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles or naturally conversing androids. But the vast majority of businesses operating today are building neither cars nor robots, and their legions of office workers — whether a layout editor choosing an image for an advertisement or a procurement officer making purchasing decisions — remain relatively untouched by the recent revolution in data and machine learning.
This is a gap that Washington, D.C. startup Foundry.ai aims to fill. Founded in 2016, Foundry.ai provides cloud-based AI-powered software applications for C-Suite executives, particularly those with Forbes Global 2000 companies. Co-Founders Jim Manzi and Ned Brody have an extensive network of such executives — Manzi previously ran Applied Predictive Technologies, the leading predictive analytics software company he founded 20 years ago; while advertising guru Brody ran Yahoo’s commercial business across the Americas.
The maturing software-as-a-service (SaaS) market could use some fresh air, and AI seems a good source. Forrester predicts SaaS vendors will roll out increasingly advanced AI applications through 2018 to help enterprises automate various business decisions.
Manzi and Brody believe many daily decision-making processes in large enterprises can be recognized and solved using AI techniques. Foundry.ai provides the software suite to do so.
“We are building a factory to build artificial intelligence applications,”Manzi told Synced, “every time we see a new opportunity, it is much faster for us to implement solutions because we already have the API integration, componentry, dataset, and of course, the existing team.”
Foundry.ai runs four businesses — Visual.ai for image optimization, Supplier.ai for improved procurement, Hud.ai for sales improvement, and Curia.ai for decision optimization tools in healthcare. Clients do not require expertise in machine learning or deep learning, says Brody. “It’s like, to drive my car, you don’t have to be a mechanic.”
Supplier.ai, for example, can help procurement officers make a purchase or conclude a contract. The software identifies possible suppliers and gathers relevant information such as reputation, historical records, and any violations for example to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The system can even help the officer set up a reverse auction to determine which potential vendor is the best choice.
Visual.ai meanwhile works with photo editors to select images and video clips likely to drive user interest and engagement. It then runs the candidates through a Bayesian Bandit to optimize them for particular contexts.
For each business, Foundry.ai uses similar pipelines but deploys different neural networks depending on the specific model type embedded within a given product. Convolutional neural networks for example are largely deployed and refined for Visual.ai products, while other products can use LSTM or Bayesian networks, etc.
Brody told Synced the company’s next challenge will be to branch out into new markets and scale their operations while maintaining quality. Last month the company announced US$67 million in funding which it will use in part to incorporate new businesses into its operations.
Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen
Financing Expands Leading Practical Artificial Intelligence Software Platform
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Foundry.ai, a leading creator of artificial intelligence (AI) software solutions for large enterprises, announced today the closing of its first fund, Foundry Fund I. The first close of $67 million will allow Foundry to expand growth and solution creation beyond its four current businesses.
“In every global 2000 C-suite and boardroom, someone is asking the question, ‘How will AI impact our business?’,” said Ned Brody, co-founder of Foundry.ai. “Foundry’s new funding will allow us to build a significantly greater number of Practical AI businesses, creating AI solutions that focus on replicable, every-day decision improvements that drive immediate profitability inc
Foundry.ai Logo (PRNewsfoto/Foundry.ai)
“Major enterprise customers are ready to move past the hype-and-demo stage with AI. The Fund provides us the resources to deliver practical AI solutions to the Global 2000. We expect to use the Fund exclusively to support the direct development and growth of our AI enterprise SaaS products to a mature state without the requirement for additional third-party capital,” added Jim Manzi, co-founder of Foundry.ai.
Foundry has created a defined methodology for Global 2000 organizations to identify and pursue immediate applications of AI methods that will drive measurable shareholder value gains. This methodology allows Foundry to bring its existing platform and applications to bear immediately for clients. If a client has significant opportunities where Foundry hasn’t already developed a solution, Foundry can bring its existing code base, team of developers and data scientists, and its own capital to develop a new solution.
Using this methodology, Foundry has launched four businesses to date:
Foundry.ai intends to develop an ongoing stream of AI SaaS businesses that build from and extend its core AI technology platform.
Foundry.ai is a leading AI enterprise software studio. Foundry ideates, builds and scales AI enterprise SaaS businesses using an existing team of data scientists, software engineers and customer success consultants. For more information, visit www.foundry.ai.
WASHINGTON, DC (PRWEB) MARCH 07, 2017
Vizual.ai, a cloud-based artificial intelligence software platform that creates and deploys optimized imagery for video and text based content, has secured a round of funding from Betaworks and the Guardian Media Group.
First tested in production during 2016 by Digg.com, a Betaworks studio company, Vizual.ai has increased user engagement rates on content by up to 100% and created significant lift in overall page yield metrics for web publishers. Based on the strength of results, Betaworks asked to lead a round with the Guardian Media Group.
“As an investor, we look for innovative technologies that can drive significant value in media monetization,” said John Borthwick, Founder and CEO of Betaworks. “Given the strong results with one of our own sites, the ease of implementation, and the broad applicability of the technology, we wanted to help bring this capability to a wider market through both funding and strategic partnership with our family of companies.”
“As a publishing group, operating in a highly disrupted market, we immediately saw the applicability of Vizual.ai’s technology to the sector and to publisher goals of advancing the science and technology of publishing,” said Alan Hudson, Chief Investment Officer, Guardian Media Group. “We are excited to help bring more A.I. to publishing and to help drive the technology into the European market.”
“We are thrilled to be working with such strategic investment partners as Betaworks and the Guardian Media Group,” said Doug Boccia, CEO of Vizual.ai. “In addition to capital, Betaworks and the Guardian Media Group provide a wealth of practical knowledge, market insights and strategic relationships for early stage growth companies focused on the media and publishing communities.”
Vizual.ai is an A.I. content imagery optimization platform that integrates with publisher web pages to drive increased user engagement. The Vizual.ai platform automatically deploys static images and .gif formats for any site imagery including video thumbnails and text based content, increasing publisher click through rates and site monetization. Vizual.ai is the first company to launch from Foundry.ai, the artificial intelligence studio created by industry veterans Jim Manzi and Ned Brody.
For more information, visit http://www.Vizual.ai
Jim Manzi and HBS Professor Stefan Thomke’s Harvard Business Review article “The Discipline of Business Experimentation’ was previously named one of the four most important articles published in HBR in 2014 as a McKinsey Award finalist. The article has now been included in the collection ‘HBR’s 10 Must Reads 2016: The Definitive Management Ideas of the Year from Harvard Business Review.’