Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Aito announced it’s latest funding round in which it raised €1.6M from B2B software investor henQ and launches the public version of its Predictive Database which combines machine learning and database into one single platform.

That AI is a hot market is not in question. Gartner says AI augmentation will create $2.9 trillion of business value in 2021. But before this can happen, one serious problem should be tackled: most AI projects flat out fail. And most failures in AI projects are because of a lack of skilled staff and unrealistic expectations according to recent IDC research. This is exactly what Aito is fixing.

Machine Learning made as easy as SQL 

The Predictive Database is fundamentally different than the current science-driven ML tools available in the market. Instead of data scientists or an AutoML tool creating numerous models predicting a single thing, Aito’s Predictive Database is a single platform that provides immediately both the known and unknown through simple queries. The Predictive Database uses existing relational datasets and a familiar query language to make ad-hoc predictions. It works without data wrangling, feature engineering, and understanding the intrinsics of ML models and their scaling. Imagine querying predictions for most probable next purchases of a user with the same simplicity as querying the purchase history. With that simplicity, Aito makes ML as easy as SQL and can be used by your existing development team: no need to hire expensive data scientists.

Business-minded software engineers need a nimble tool to be able to quickly explore where AI-driven predictive features create the biggest impact. Aito brings them the ability to validate ideas, build prototypes and launch scalable solutions in production.

The public version of Aito is available today, anyone can register at https://aito.ai/, upload a dataset to Aito’s predictive database and start experimenting. The only skill needed: a basic understanding of SQL to get predictions, projections, and recommendations out of your data. No special tooling or knowledge needed.

“It is about time that we start looking differently at how we approach AI projects,” says Vesa-Pekka Grönfors, CEO of Aito, “AI in most projects is either a buzzword or only available for enterprises with a large budget that can hire a completely new data science team. That is what we want to change at Aito. We believe that the power of machine learning belongs to everyone. Building machine learning solutions should be inspirational, not frustrating. Every company should be able to start experimenting with real data and real users without high barriers – to learn and concretely see how machine learning can bring value. Without the need to learn a new skill set or to hire new people. And above all: without the need to be heads down for months and release something that is not working. We believe in lean and agile: experiment, test, improve. That is the development cycle that works and that we now bring to your AI project.”

Aito’s customers are a mix of startups and small and medium-sized businesses for whom the power of AI was never available or too expensive. And for larger enterprises that saw too many of their AI projects fail and are now realizing their approach to AI needs to change. Aito is being used by the innovation departments of two Fortune 500 companies for exactly this purpose: rapid prototyping of AI.

henQ invests €1.6M in Aito’s seed round

After raising €1M from angels and local VC’s before, Aito now announced that is raised a €1.6M seed round from Amsterdam based B2B software venture capitalist henQ (https://henq.vc/) with the participation of its existing investors.

“The world of AI and ML  is full of hype. What really spoke for Aito is how they ensured that ML is actually easy to apply, and fit for purpose. Truly bringing a benefit, at a low cost,” says Jelmer de Jong, Partner at henQ, “We’ve seen a lot of failing AI startups and projects, and the biggest reason for failure is lack of skilled people, and month – if not year-long research projects instead of rapid validation. The market was missing the tools that enable you to quickly experiment and prototype your hypothesis: enter Aito. With Aito’s Predictive Database existing software engineers can use their existing skillsets to work on the ML items on their backlog, saving a lot of time and effort in data wrangling and feature engineering. Aito has the potential to make AI available to all, not just for the big corporates with a big budget and fix the AI failure problem.”

Aito has opted for henQ as their first international VC on their cap table for henQ’s dedicated focus on B2B software companies, and proven track record of helping developer platforms become a success. henQ and Aito work together on establishing the right go-to-market strategy, international expansion, and scaling their team.

For henQ, Aito is the first investment in Finland, which is fully in line with its further expansion to the Nordic market.

We are proud to announce that we have invested in Orderchamp, the new venture from the former SEOshop team. Orderchamp has just launched its wholesale marketplace for retailers and suppliers. The marketplace will allow retailers to find unique and exciting products from thousands of creators all in one platform. Both parties benefit from a seamless process and can easily complete a transaction with limited efforts and administration. This will allow both of them to work with more parties. The funding will be used to further develop the platform and to launch Orderchamp in the Netherlands and later on across Europe.

More coverage on:

We are happy to announce that Mews Systems, the software startup developing property management solutions for hotels and hostels, today announced its $33 million Series B. This round is led by Battery Ventures and is done together with henQ and the other existing investors. The funds will support Mews’ it’s further international growth, amongst others opening up the US market and a new office in NYC.

More coverage on:

We’re proud to let you know that henQ, from its third fund and together with existing investors Inventure and Creades, will invest up to 5.6 million euro in market intelligence platform Stravito. This late seed round will be used to further expand the company’s mission to improve the use of market intelligence in consumer goods companies.

Yearly more than 58 billion dollar is spent on market research and insights, but using insights and knowledge efficiently is something most global giants struggle with. This is now more relevant than ever with the ever-increasing amounts of data gathered and available to make better decisions in any corporate. In just 18 months, Stravito onboarded seven global consumer goods companies, including French dairy giant Danone.

(more…)

Delays, reworks and disputes are not new phenomena in the construction landscape. Airsquire offers an intelligent as-built survey platform to automate construction verifications. With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), errors in 3D construction projects can now be detected faster with 100% coverage, which increases productivity and reduces construction costs. With a six-figure capital injection from Dutch venture capitalist henQ, Airsquire continues to grow and optimize its software. (more…)

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, and early detection is vital to surviving it. Amsterdam-based medical imaging startup Aidence has developed an AI-enabled pulmonary nodule management assistant, Veye Chest, which enables radiologists to more easily track changes in pulmonary nodules and detect lung cancer. The technology has already been installed in more than 10 hospitals in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia and processes hundreds of images every week. (more…)