Monthly Archives: August 2021

Bodo.ai secures $14M, aims to make Python better at handling large-scale data

Posted by on 25 August, 2021

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Bodo.ai, a parallel compute platform for data workloads, is developing a compiler to make Python portable and efficient across multiple hardware platforms. It announced Wednesday a $14 million Series A funding round led by Dell Technologies Capital.

Python is one of the top programming languages used among artificial intelligence and machine learning developers and data scientists, but as Behzad Nasre, co-founder and CEO of Bodo.ai, points out, it is challenging to use when handling large-scale data.

Bodo.ai, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 2019 by Nasre and Ehsan Totoni, CTO, to make Python higher performing and production ready. Nasre, who had a long career at Intel before starting Bodo, met Totoni and learned about the project that he was working on to democratize machine learning and enable parallel learning for everyone. Parallelization is the only way to extend Moore’s Law, Nasre told TechCrunch.

Bodo does this via a compiler technology that automates the parallelization so that data and ML developers don’t have to use new libraries, APIs or rewrite Python into other programming languages or graphics processing unit code to achieve scalability. Its technology is being used to make data analytics tools in real time and is being used across industries like financial, telecommunications, retail and manufacturing.

“For the AI revolution to happen, developers have to be able to write code in simple Python, and that high-performance capability will open new doors,” Totoni said. “Right now, they rely on specialists to rewrite them, and that is not efficient.”

Joining Dell in the round were Uncorrelated Ventures, Fusion Fund and Candou Ventures. Including the new funding, Bodo has raised $14 million in total. The company went after Series A dollars after its product had matured and there was good traction with customers, prompting Bodo to want to scale quicker, Nasre said.

Nasre feels Dell Technologies Capital was “uniquely positioned to help us in terms of reserves and the role they play in the enterprise at large, which is to have the most effective salesforce in enterprise.”

Though he was already familiar with Nasre, Daniel Docter, managing director at Dell Technologies, heard about Bodo from a data scientist friend who told Docter that Bodo’s preliminary results “were amazing.”

Much of Dell’s investments are in the early-stage and in deep tech founders that understand the problem. Docter puts Totoni and Nasre in that category.

“Ehsan fits this perfectly, he has super deep technology knowledge and went out specifically to solve the problem,” he added. “Behzad, being from Intel, saw and lived with the problem, especially seeing Hadoop fail and Spark take its place.”

Meanwhile, with the new funding, Nasre intends to triple the size of the team and invest in R&D to build and scale the company. It will also be developing a marketing and sales team.

The company is now shifting from financing to customer- and revenue-focused as it aims to drive up adoption by the Python community.

“Our technology can translate simple code into the fast code that the experts will try,” Totoni said. “I joined Intel Labs to work on the problem, and we think we have the first solution that will democratize machine learning for developers and data scientists. Now, they have to hand over Python code to specialists who rewrite it for tools. Bodo is a new type of compiler technology that democratizes AI.”

 

Posted Under: Tech News
Forward Kitchens cooks up $2.5M to transform existing kitchens into digital storefronts

Posted by on 25 August, 2021

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Forward Kitchens was working quietly on its digital storefront for restaurants and is now announcing a $2.5 million seed round.

Raghav Poddar started the company two years ago and was part of the Y Combinator Summer 2019 cohort. Poddar told TechCrunch he has been a foodie his entire life. Lately, he was relying on food delivery and pickup services, and while visiting with some of the restaurant owners, he realized a few things: first, not many had a good online presence, and second, these restaurants had the ability to cook cuisine representative of their communities.

That led to the idea of Forward Kitchens, which provides a turnkey tool for restaurants to set up an online presence, including food delivery, where they can create multiple digital storefronts easily and without having to contact each delivery platform. The company ran pilot programs in a handful of restaurants, and this is the first year coming out of stealth.

“It’s an expansion of what they have on the menu, but is not immediately available in the neighborhood,” Poddar added. “Kitchens can keep the costs and headcount the same, but be able to service the demand and get more orders because it is fulfilling a need for the neighborhood, which is why we can grow so fast.”

Here’s how it works: Forward Kitchens goes into a restaurant and takes into account its capacity for additional cooking and the demographic area, as well as what food is available near it, and helps the restaurant create the storefront.

Each restaurant is able to build multiple storefronts, for example, an Italian restaurant setting up a storefront just to sell its popular mac n’ cheese or other small plates on demand. A couple hundred digital storefronts were already created, Poddar said.

A group of investors, including Y Combinator, Floodgate, Slow Ventures and SV Angel and angel investors Michael Seibel of YC, Ram Shriram and Thumbtack’s Jonathan Swanson, were involved in the round.

The new funding will be used to expand the company’s footprint and reach, and to hire a team in operations, sales and engineering to help support the product.

“Forward Kitchens is empowering independent kitchens to create digital storefronts and receive more online sales,” Seibel said via email. “With Forward Kitchens, a kitchen can create world-class digital storefronts at the click of a button.”

Posted Under: Tech News
Ramp and Brex draw diverging market plans with M&A strategies

Posted by on 24 August, 2021

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Earlier today, spend management startup Ramp said it has raised a $300 million Series C that valued it $3.9 billion. It also said it was acquiring Buyer, a “negotiation-as-a-service” platform that it believes will help customers save money on purchases and SaaS products.

The round and deal were announced just a week after competitor Brex shared news of its own acquisition — the $50 million purchase of Israeli fintech startup Weav. That deal was made after Brex’s founders invested in Weav, which offers a “universal API for commerce platforms”.

From a high level, all of the recent deal-making in corporate cards and spend management shows that it’s not enough to just help companies track what employees are expensing these days. As the market matures and feature sets begin to converge, the players are seeking to differentiate themselves from the competition.

But the point of interest here is these deals can tell us where both companies think they can provide and extract the most value from the market.

These differences come atop another layer of divergence between the two companies: While Brex has instituted a paid software tier of its service, Ramp has not.

Earning more by spending less

Let’s start with Ramp. Launched in 2019, the company is a relative newcomer in the spend management category. But by all accounts, it’s producing some impressive growth numbers. As our colleague Mary Ann Azevedo wrote this morning:

Since the beginning of 2021, the company says it has seen its number of cardholders on its platform increase by 5x, with more than 2,000 businesses currently using Ramp as their “primary spend management solution.” The transaction volume on its corporate cards has tripled since April, when its last raise was announced. And, impressively, Ramp has seen its transaction volume increase year over year by 1,000%, according to CEO and co-founder Eric Glyman.

Ramp’s focus has always been on helping its customers save money: It touts a 1.5% cashback reward for all purchases made through its cards, and says its dashboard helps businesses identify duplicitous subscriptions and license redundancies. Ramp also alerts customers when they can save money on annual vs. monthly subscriptions, which it says has led many customers to do away with established T&E platforms like Concur or Expensify.

All told, the company claims that the average customer saves 3.3% per year on expenses after switching to its platform — and all that is before it brings Buyer into the fold.

Posted Under: Tech News
Tango dances in with $5.7M, making employee onboarding easier

Posted by on 24 August, 2021

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Ken Babcock and his co-founders, Dan Giovacchini and Brian Shultz, were in the midst of Harvard Business School in March 2020 when they felt the call to start Tango, a Chrome extension that auto-captures workflow best practices so that teams can learn from their top performers.

“This window of opportunity was driven by the pandemic as we saw a lot of companies become distributed and go remote,” CEO Babcock told TechCrunch. “Team leaders were remotely onboarding people, for perhaps the first time, and accelerating ramp times. There was no longer the opportunity to tap on people’s shoulders in the office, so much of the training was left to people’s own devices.”

They dropped out of their program to start Los Angeles-based Tango, and today, announced a $5.7 million seed round for its workflow intelligence platform. Wing Venture Capital led the round and was joined by General Catalyst, Global Silicon Valley, Outsiders Fund and Red Sea Ventures. A group of angel investors also joined, including former Yelp executive Michael Stoppelman, former Uber head of data Jai Ranganathan, KeepTruckin CEO Shoaib Makani and Awesome People Ventures’ Julia Lipton.

Tango is designed to help employees, particularly in customer success and sales enablement, get back as much as 20% of their workweek spent searching for that one piece of information or tracking down the right colleague to assist with a task. Its technology creates tutorials by recording a users’ workflow — actions, links to pages, URLs and screenshots — and turns that into step-by-step documentation with a video.

Previously the co-founders bootstrapped the company, and decided to go after seed funding to expand the product and growth teams and invest in product development so that Tango could take a product-led growth strategy, Babcock said. The team now has 13 employees.

Since starting last year, Tango has secured 10 pilots to figure out the data and capabilities before it is set to launch publicly in September. Babcock said the company will always have a free version of the product, as well as premium and enterprise versions that will unlock additional capabilities.

“The big thing is around integrations and meeting people where the consumer content is,” Babcock added. “We are reducing that burden of creating documentation, and for companies that already have Wikis or other materials, learning how to inject ourselves into those systems.”

Zach DeWitt, partner at Wing Venture Capital, said he met the company three years ago through a mutual friend.

His firm invests in early-stage, business-to-business startups unlocking a novel data set. In Tango’s case, the company was creating a new data set for the enterprise and business, where users can analyze workflow.

With the average tech company using 150 SaaS apps, up from 20 a decade ago, there are permutations about which app to use, how to use them, what happens if the user gets stuck and what if none of the data is being captured, Dewitt said. Tango works in the background and captures workflow, which is the foundation to the business’ success.

“I was blown away by the approach,” he added. “You have to meet people where they get stuck and even anticipate where they get stuck so you can serve the Tango tutorial to get unstuck. It can also change the company’s culture when it rewards people to share knowledge. The whole idea is beneficial to multiple parties: to those who are getting stuck and to new hires. That is powerful.”

 

Posted Under: Tech News
NS1 brings open-source service NetBox to the cloud

Posted by on 24 August, 2021

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New York City based startup NS1 got its start providing organizations with managed DNS services to help accelerate application delivery and reliability. With its new NetBox Cloud service that is being announced in preview today, NS1 is expanding its services into a new area beyond DNS. 

It can often be a challenging task for a network administrator in an enterprise to understand where all the networking infrastructure is and how it’s all supposed to be connected.  That’s a job for an emerging class of enterprise technology known as Infrastructure Resource Management (IRM) that NS1 is now jumping into. TechCrunch profiled NS1 in a wide-ranging EC-1 series last month. The company provides DNS as a service, for some of the biggest sites on the internet. DNS, or domain name system is about connecting IP addresses to domain names and NS1 has technology that helps organizations to intelligently optimize application traffic delivery. 

With its new NetBox Cloud service, NS1 is providing a managed service for NetBox which is a popular open source IRM tool that was initially built by developer Jeremy Stretch, while he was working at cloud provider DigitalOcean. Stretch joined NS1 as a distinguished engineer in April of this year, with NS1 now supporting the open source project.

Stretch recounted that at one point during his tenure at DigitalOcean he was using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track IP address management. Using a spreadsheet to track IP addresses doesn’t scale, so Stretch coded the initial version of NetBox in 2015 to address that need. Over the last several years, NetBox has expanded with additional capabilities that will now also help users of NS1’s NetBox Cloud service.

Stretch explained that Netbox’s role is primarily in modelling network infrastructure in an approach that provides what he referred to as a “source of truth” for network infrastructure. The basic idea is to enable organizations to model their desired state of their networks and then from that point they can draw in monitoring to verify that the operational state is the same as the desired state. 

“So the idea of this source of truth is that it is the actual documented authoritative record of what is supposed to be configured on the network,” Stretch said.

NetBox has continued to grow over the years as a popular open source tool, but it hasn’t been particularly accessible to enterprises that required commercial support to get started, or that wanted a managed service. The goal with the new service is to make it easier for organizations of any size to get started with NetBox to better manage their networks.

NS1 co-founder and CEO Kris Beevers told TechCrunch that while Stretch has done a solid job of building the NetBox open source community, there hasn’t been a commercial service for NetBox. Beevers said that while NetBox has had broad adoption as an open source effort, in his view there are a lot of enterprises that will want commercial support and a managed service.

One key theme that Beevers reiterated time and again in the Extra Crunch EC-1 series is that NS1 is very experimental as a business, and that same theme holds true for NetBox. The primary objective for the initial beta release of the NetBox Cloud is all about figuring out exactly who is trying to adopt the technology and learning what challenges commercial users will face. Fundamentally, Beevers said that NS1 will be actively iterating on NetBox Cloud to make sure it addresses the things that enterprises care about.

“From the NS1 point of view, this is just such a compelling open source product and community and we want to drive barriers to adoption as low as we possibly can,” Beevers said.

NS1 was founded in 2013 and has raised $118.4 million in funding, including a $40 million Series D which the company closed in July 2020.

Posted Under: Tech News
Samsung to invest $205B in semiconductor, biopharma and telco units by 2023, creating 40,000 jobs

Posted by on 24 August, 2021

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Samsung Group, South Korea’s tech giant, announced on Tuesday that it will invest $205 billion (240 trillion won) in their semiconductor, biopharmaceuticals and telecommunications units over the next three years to enhance its global presence and lead in new industries such as next-generation telecommunication and robotics.

The investment will be led by Samsung affiliates including Samsung Electronics and Samsung Biologics. It also unveiled mergers and acquisitions plan to fortify its technology and market leadership.

With setting aside $154.3 billion (180 trillion won) for home ground, Samsung expects to create 40,000 new jobs by 2023 through the investment.

This announcement comes days after Samsung Electronics vice chairman Jay Y. Lee was released on parole on 13 August right before South Korea’s Liberation Day. People speculated Samsung would be able to move forward with major investment once he was freed from prison, according to local media reports.

Samsung’s latest investment will be used for semiconductor, biopharmaceuticals and the next-generation telco units, according to the company’s statement.

Samsung Electronics plans to develop advanced process technology and expand the business with artificial intelligence (AI) and data centers for its system semiconductors while it will focus on up-to-date technology such as EUV-based sub14-nanometer DRAM and over 200-layer V-NAND products for the memory business. Samsung had announced in May the company will invest $151 billion in its logic chip and foundry sector, to be the top logic chip maker, by 2030.

Samsung Biologics and Samsung Bioepis plans to establish additional two new plants, in addition to a fourth factory that is under construction, for expanding the contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) business, the statement said.

South Korea’s largest conglomerate also will support its ongoing R&D in new technologies and emerging application in areas such as AI and robotics along with the next generation OLED, quantum-dot display and high-energy density batteries development.

Posted Under: Tech News
How Cisco keeps its startup acquisition engine humming

Posted by on 23 August, 2021

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Enterprise startups have several viable exit strategies: Some will go public, but most successful outcomes will be via acquisition, often by one of the highly acquisitive large competitors like Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Adobe or Cisco.

From rivals to “spin-ins,” Cisco has a particularly rich history of buying its way to global success. It has remained quite active, acquiring more than 30 startups over the last four years for a total of 229 over the life of the company. The most recent was Epsagon earlier this month, with five more in its most recent quarter (Q4 FY2021): Slido, Sedona Systems, Kenna Security, Involvio and Socio. It even announced three of them in the same week.

It begins by identifying targets; Cisco does that by being intimately involved with a list of up to 1,000 startups that could be a fit for acquisition.

What’s the secret sauce? How it is going faster than ever? For startups that encounter a company like Cisco, what do you need to know if you have talks that go places with it? We spoke to the company CFO, senior vice president of corporate development, and the general manager and executive vice president of security and collaboration to help us understand how all of the pieces fit together, why they acquire so many companies and what startups can learn from their process.

Cisco, as you would expect, has developed a rigorous methodology over the years to identify startups that could fit its vision. That involves product, of course, but also team and price, all coming together to make a successful deal. From targeting to negotiating to closing to incorporating the company into the corporate fold, a startup can expect a well-tested process.

Even with all this experience, chances are it won’t work perfectly every time. But since Cisco started doing M&A nine years into its history with the purchase of LAN switcher Crescendo Communications in 1993 — leading to its massive switching business today — the approach clearly works well enough that they keep doing it.

It starts with cash

If you want to be an acquisitive company, chances are you have a fair amount of cash on hand. That is certainly the case with Cisco, which currently has more than $24.5 billion in cash and equivalents, albeit down from $46 billion in 2017.

CFO Scott Herren says that the company’s cash position gives it the flexibility to make strategic acquisitions when it sees opportunities.

“We generate free cash flow net of our capex in round numbers in the $14 billion a year range, so it’s a fair amount of free cash flow. The dividend consumes about $6 billion a year,” Herren said. “We do share buybacks to offset our equity grant programs, but that still leaves us with a fair amount of cash that we generate year on year.”

He sees acquisitions as a way to drive top-line company growth while helping to push the company’s overall strategic goals. “As I think about where our acquisition strategy fits into the overall company strategy, it’s really finding the innovation we need and finding the companies that fit nicely and that marry to our strategy,” he said.

“And then let’s talk about the deal … and does it make sense or is there a … seller price point that we can meet and is it clearly something that I think will continue to be a core part of our strategy as a company in terms of finding innovation and driving top-line growth there,” he said.

The company says examples of acquisitions that both drove innovation and top-line growth include Duo Security in 2018, ThousandEyes in 2020 and Acacia Communications this year. Each offers some component that helps drive Cisco’s strategy — security, observability and next-generation internet infrastructure — while contributing to growth. Indeed, one of the big reasons for all these acquisitions could be about maintaining growth.

Playing the match game

Cisco is at its core still a networking equipment company, but it has been looking to expand its markets and diversify outside its core networking roots for years by moving into areas like communications and security. Consider that along the way it has spent billions on companies like WebEx, which it bought in 2007 for $3.2 billion, or AppDynamics, which it bought in 2017 for $3.7 billion just before it was going to IPO. It has also made more modest purchases (by comparison at least), such as MindMeld for $125 million and countless deals that were too small to require them to report the purchase price.

Derek Idemoto, SVP for corporate development and Cisco investments, has been with the company for 100 of those acquisitions and has been involved in helping scout companies of interest. His team begins the process of identifying possible targets and where they fall within a number of categories, such as whether it allows them to enter new markets (as WebEx did), extend their markets (as with Duo Security), or acqui-hire top technical talent and get some cool tech, as they did when they purchased BabbleLabs last year.

Posted Under: Tech News
Moesif secures $12M to provide user behavior insights on API usage

Posted by on 23 August, 2021

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As more companies provide more API-first services, Moesif has developed a way for those companies to learn how their customers are utilizing them.

The San Francisco-based startup is adding to its capital raise Monday with the announcement of a $12 million Series A round led by David Sacks and Arra Malekzadeh of Craft Ventures. Existing investor Merus Capital, which led Moesif’s $3.5 million seed round in 2019, also participated in the round, bringing the company’s total raise to $15.5 million, Moesif co-founder and CEO Derric Gilling told TechCrunch.

Gilling and Xing Wang founded Moesif in 2017 and went through the Alchemist Accelerator in 2018.

Companies seeking data around API usage and workflow traditionally had to build that capability in-house on top of a tech like Snowflake, Gilling said. One of the problems with that was if someone wanted a report, the process was ad hoc, meaning they would file a ticket and wait until a team had time to run the report. In addition, companies find it difficult to accurately bill customers on usage or manage when someone exceeds the rate limits.

“We started to see people build on top of our platform and pull data on APIs, and they started asking us how to directly serve customers, like making them aware if they are hitting a rate limit,” Gilling added. “We started to build new functionality and a way to customize the look and feel of the platform.”

Moesif provides self-service analytics that can be accessed daily and features to scale analytics in a more cost-effective manner. Customers use it to monitor features to better understand when there are issues with the API, and there are additional capabilities to understand who is using the API, how often and who may be likely to stop using a product based on how they are using it.

The company is also now seeing its revenue grow over 20% month over month this year and adoption by more diverse use cases and larger companies. At the time of the seed round, the company was just getting started with analytics and user trials, Gilling said. Today, it boasts a customer list that includes UPS, Tomorrow.io, Symbl.ai and Deloitte.

The company has also gone from a team of two to nine employees, and Gilling expects to use the new funding to bolster that roster across engineering, sales, developer relations and customer success.

He is also focusing on being a thought leader in the space and is pushing go-to-market and building out a new set of features to monetize APIs and improve its dashboard to better differentiate Moesif from competitors, which he said focus more on server health versus customer usage.

As part of the investment, Craft Ventures’ Malekzadeh is joining Moesif’s board. She was introduced to Gilling by another portfolio company and felt Moesif fit into Crafts’ thesis on SaaS companies.

Malekzadeh’s particular interest is in developer tools, and while in her previous position working at a startup developing APIs, she felt firsthand the pain point of not being able to know how those APIs were being used, how much customers should be billed and “was always bugging the product and engineering teams for reports.”

Moesif didn’t exist at the time she worked at the startup, and instead, her company had to build it own tools that turned out to be clunky, while at the same time recruiting top engineers that didn’t want to take up their time with building something that wasn’t the company’s core product.

“The two founders are highly technical, but they provided great content on their website that helped me learn about them,” Malekzadeh added. “One of the interesting things about them is that even though they are technical, they speak the same language as a business user, which makes them special as a developer-first company. Just the growth in their revenue was super impressive, and their customer references were glowing.”

Posted Under: Tech News
Virtual dressing room startup Revery.ai applying computer vision to the fashion industry

Posted by on 23 August, 2021

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Figuring out size and cut of clothes through a website can suck the fun out of shopping online, but Revery.ai is developing a tool that leverages computer vision and artificial intelligence to create a better online dressing room experience.

Under the tutelage of University of Illinois Center for Computer Science advisrr David Forsyth, a team consisting of Ph.D. students Kedan Li, Jeffrey Zhang and Min Jin Chong, is creating what they consider to be the first tool using existing catalog images to process at a scale of over a million garments weekly, something previous versions of virtual dressing rooms had difficulty doing, Li told TechCrunch.

Revery.ai co-founders Jeffrey Zhang, Min Jin Chong and Kedan Li. Image Credits: Revery.ai

California-based Revery is part of Y Combinator’s summer 2021 cohort gearing up to complete the program later this month. YC has backed the company with $125,000. Li said the company already has a two-year runway, but wants to raise a $1.5 million seed round to help it grow faster and appear more mature to large retailers.

Before Revery, Li was working on another startup in the personalized email space, but was challenged in making it work due to free versions of already large legacy players. While looking around for areas where there would be less monopoly and more ability to monetize technology, he became interested in fashion. He worked with a different adviser to get a wardrobe collection going, but that idea fizzled out.

The team found its stride working with Forsyth and making several iterations on the technology in order to target business-to-business customers, who already had the images on their websites and the users, but wanted the computer vision aspect.

Unlike its competitors that use 3D modeling or take an image and manually clean it up to superimpose on a model, Revery is using deep learning and computer vision so that the clothing drapes better and users can also customize their clothing model to look more like them using skin tone, hair styles and poses. It is also fully automated, can work with millions of SKUs and be up and running with a customer in a matter of weeks.

Its virtual dressing room product is now live on many fashion e-commerce platforms, including Zalora-Global Fashion Group, one of the largest fashion companies in Southeast Asia, Li said.

Revery.ai landing page. Image Credits: Revery.ai

“It’s amazing how good of results we are getting,” he added. “Customers are reporting strong conversion rates, something like three to five times, which they had never seen before. We released an A/B test for Zalora and saw a 380% increase. We are super excited to move forward and deploy our technology on all of their platforms.”

This technology comes at a time when online shopping jumped last year as a result of the pandemic. Just in the U.S., the e-commerce fashion industry made up 29.5% of fashion retail sales in 2020, and the market’s value is expected to reach $100 billion this year.

Revery is already in talks with over 40 retailers that are “putting this on their roadmap to win in the online race,” Li said.

Over the next year, the company is focusing on getting more adoption and going live with more clients. To differentiate itself from competitors continuing to come online, Li wants to invest body type capabilities, something retailers are asking for. This type of technology is challenging, he said, due to there not being much in the way of diversified body shape models available.

He expects the company will have to collect proprietary data itself so that Revery can offer the ability for users to create their own avatar so that they can see how the clothes look.

“We might actually be seeing the beginning of the tide and have the right product to serve the need,” he added.

Posted Under: Tech News
Y Combinator-backed Adra wants to turn all dentists into cavity-finding ‘super dentists’

Posted by on 23 August, 2021

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Like other areas of healthcare, the dental industry is steadily embracing technology. But while much of it is in the orthodontic realm, other startups, like Adra, are bringing artificial intelligence into a dentist’s day-to-day workflow, particularly in finding cavities, of what will be a $435.08 billion global dental services market this year.

The Singapore-based company was founded in 2021, but was an idea that started last year. Co-founder Hamed Fesharaki has been a dentist for over a decade and owns two clinics in Singapore.

He said dentists learn to read X-rays in dental school, but it can take a few years to get good at it. Dentists also often have just minutes to read them as they hop between patients.

As a result, dentists end up misdiagnosing cavities up to 40% of the time, co-founder Yasaman Nemat said. Her background is in imaging, where she developed an artificial intelligence machine identifying hard-to-see cancers, something Fesharaki thought could also be applied to dental medicine.

Providing the perspective of a more experienced dentist, Adra’s intent is to make every dentist “a super dentist,” Fesharaki told TechCrunch. Its software detects cavities and other dental problems on dental X-rays faster and 25% more accurately, so that clinics can use that time to better serve patients and increase revenue.

Example of Adra’s software. Image Credits: Adra

“We are coming from the eye of an experienced dentist to help illustrate the problems by turning the X-rays into images to better understand what to look for,” he added. “Ultimately, the dentist has the final say, but we bring the experience element to help them compare and give them suggestions.”

By quickly pointing out the problem and the extent of it, dentists can decide in what way they want to treat it — for example, do a filling, a fluoride treatment or wait.

Along with third co-founder Shifeng Chen, the company is finishing up its time in Y Combinator’s summer cohort and has raised $250,000 so far. Fesharaki intends to do more formalized seed fundraising and wants to bring on more engineers to tackle user experience and add more features.

The company has a few clinics doing pilots and wants to attract more as it moves toward a U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance. Fesharaki expects it to take six to nine months to receive the clearance, and then Adra will be able to hit the market in late 2022 or early 2023.

Posted Under: Tech News
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