Episode 120: Your AI Insurance Appraiser Has Arrived with Tractable CEO, Alex Dalyac


This post is by David Poole from Georgian Partners

The process for making a car insurance claim is slow and cumbersome. Waiting as an appraiser with a clipboard goes over the damage, wondering how their biases and human fallibility might affect the outcome. That painstaking process includes data collection though – and it turns out that dataset is the perfect training ground for AI.

Alex Dalyac is our guest on this episode of the Georgian Impact Podcast. He’s the Co-founder and CEO of Tractable AI. Until recently humans had the edge over AI when it comes to image classification tasks – but the scales have now tipped in the computer’s favor. Tractable is leveraging that fact to revolutionize the way damage from automotive accidents and natural disasters is assessed.

You’ll hear about:

  • How accident and disaster damage appraisals could be 10x faster using AI.
  • Why Tractable chose to pivot their AI’s strengths from plastic pipes to the insurance industry.
  • How Alex and his team convinced competing insurance companies to pool their data – and how they keep that data safe.
  • The challenges of selling in such a consolidated industry.
  • Tractable’s approach to improving trust and transparency.

Listen to every episode:
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Who is Alex Daylac?

Alex Dalyac is the Co-founder and CEO of Tractable AI , an artificial intelligence company specialized in visual tasks for traditional industries. The company’s current focus is insurance and automotive, where its AI predicts the cost to repair a vehicle based on photos of the damage. Its products are used by leading insurers in Europe and North America. Tractable was spun off from Alex’s research at Imperial College London, where he led the Computing department’s first industrial application of deep learning. Prior to research, Alex was at hedge fund Quant.

The post Episode 120: Your AI Insurance Appraiser Has Arrived with Tractable CEO, Alex Dalyac appeared first on Georgian Partners.

Experts on Day One: Our Investment in Cresta


This post is by Greylock Partners from Stories by Greylock Partners on Medium

By Saam Motamedi

Cresta Co-Founders Sebastian Thrun (Chairman), Zayd Enam (CEO) and Tim Shi (CTO)

With the personal computer and then the mobile phone, the past 40+ years have brought incredible technological advances to office work around the world. But despite these new computing platforms, basic tasks like data entry and fragmented expertise in functions like sales persist and strain worker productivity. There’s a real opportunity for AI to transform the way humans work through a combination of automation and augmentation, which can help workers spend less time on repetitive tasks, and more time on higher value work. This powerful duo can ultimately lead to step-function changes in productivity, and upskilled workers.

Enter Cresta, which is pioneering a new expertise management platform that leverages state of the art AI techniques to make every employee an Expert on Day One. Cresta’s unique approach to using both automation and augmentation drives worker efficiency and effectiveness.

Cresta’s initial target market for their expertise management platform is contact centers in retail, SaaS, financial services, and telecom verticals, which are undergoing significant technological transformations. There is an explosion in the growth of conversational commerce with upwards of $40B projected to be spent by 2022, and a shift to online chats with 265B+ digital call center chats per year. Contact centers are increasingly becoming revenue drivers and a key to differentiated customer experiences, meaning that agents need to upskilled to better focus on interactions with customers.

Yet agents at contact centers can take up to 7 Continue reading Experts on Day One: Our Investment in Cresta

Our Investment in Clubhouse


This post is by Greylock Partners from Stories by Greylock Partners on Medium

Kurt Schrader, Co-Founder & CEO and Andrew Childs, Co-Founder & Chief Design Officer at Clubhouse

By Sarah Guo

Better Tools to Enable the Software Revolution

Software is deep into a multi-decade process of invading every industry. Building great software and integrating that software with the rest of the value chain of a business is increasingly the most important basis of competition in large swaths of the economy.

Yet, a minority of companies would claim today to be “great at building software.” What makes writing amazing software hard? The core of it is certainly having the right talent — but the other is the task itself. Creating software is still a relatively young, fast-evolving team endeavor that requires heavy communication, high context, and complex task partitioning. The standards for, complexity of, and volume of software produced are inexorably increasing. At the same time, engineering teams are becoming more distributed, faster-moving, and more tightly integrated with other teams, from sales and marketing, to logistics and support. It’s a hard problem.

GitHub has become a beloved home for source code, and modern communication tools such as Slack and Zoom have increased the fidelity and ease with which we talk to one another in freeform. But the collaboration around what code to write, how to split the work, who should write it, and how to document that code, is often still more painful than actually writing code.

Results are so profoundly contingent on tools — and the process the tools enable or dictate. The craft of building software has undergone such Continue reading Our Investment in Clubhouse

3 Founder Attributes We Look For When Investing

Recently, Stu Landesberg, the CEO of Grove Collaborative shared the story of the struggle he faced in raising his series A round. You don’t often hear a founder speak so candidly about this (especially before the final chapter is written) so it’s worth a listen. 

We were co-lead investors in Grove’s seed round and actually doubled down in an intermediate round prior to this challenging series A process. We believed in Stu and the vision for Grove, but this was a really scary time for the company.

When I think of all the value drivers in our portfolio, every single one faced at least one if not several crucible moments like this. They may not look exactly like Stu’s situation, but I think all of these founders have found their backs against the wall, scrambling to find a path forward for their business.

As seed stage investors, we think Continue reading 3 Founder Attributes We Look For When Investing

Why We Invested in Marlo

Meetings can suck.

I know that you’ve been there.  Stuck in a meeting which wasn’t productive.  Not for you, and not for many (or even all) of the participants.

Sometimes it’s a standing small-group meeting, an obligatory gathering that’s on everyone’s work calendar merely intended for reporting and not actually deciding.  Sometimes it’s an all-hands-on-deck meeting requiring a large group to attend, but what’s going to be discussed isn’t relevant for everyone.

The various scenario permutations go on and on, but the consistent theme runs throughout that people don’t like to be stuck in meetings.  Meetings take people away from doing real work.

Earlier this year, my partners and I at NextView invested in Boston-based Marlo to help address this work meeting suckiness.

Starting with the notion that you can’t fix what you don’t measure, Marlo captures anonymous micro-feedback after each meeting to calculate a Net Continue reading Why We Invested in Marlo

Our Investment In Instabase

Instabase Founder Anant Bhardwaj and me

In a 1990 documentary for the Library of Congress, Steve Jobs said, “What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” Jobs was referencing a Scientific American study that compared locomotion efficiency for various species and how humans alone were far behind other animals like the most efficient condor but coupled with a tool like the bicycle, humans “blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.” Jobs’ insight that the personal computer could make the human brain more productive kicked off two decades of the PC revolution. His insight in 2007 with the iPhone that smart phones coupled with ubiquitous internet access would kick off the mobile revolution enabled a generation of consumers to conjure, food, cars, photos, and games at

Continue reading Our Investment In Instabase

Our Investment in Utmost


This post is by Sarah Guo from Greylock Perspectives - Medium

The Utmost Team

Every company today is an evolving network of work and talent that goes far beyond their own employees — they have an extended workforce of contractors, vendors, staffing firms, freelancers and more. People are a company’s greatest asset, and increasingly so in the era of the knowledge economy. But with legacy software, companies can’t track, communicate with, or pay 20–40% of the people they work with in an increasingly complex and flexible set of relationships, much less manage, measure and empower them. It’s painful, expensive and a manual struggle for companies, and a terrible experience for the workforce.

It was an esteemed, longtime HR executive at a large manufacturer that first explained this problem to me. She said:

“I first started to understand how behind we were in this area of [extended workforce] when our CEO wanted to know, ‘How do we manage the people helping us get work done, the people on our campus that aren’t employees? Who are they?’ But the problem was much more basic than that. We didn’t even know how many non-employees we had. This leads to cost, quality, compliance, culture, administration and security issues. And of course, if you’re behind on production, the most important thing is the delivery issue. How do you ensure your customers get the product they’ve been promised next month? You need skilled, specific talent, stat, and those aren’t in-house employees. This problem is one that gets lost between HR, procurement and IT, because you also need to make all Continue reading Our Investment in Utmost

Fiverr rings the NYSE bell


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code

Micha Kaufman, Fiverr’s founder and CEO

What a great achievement for Micha Kaufman and the whole team at Fiverr, which made its debut on the NYSE today. They have built a company that is changing how the world works together, and which facilitate millions of transactions between buyers and sellers across over 200 categories.

We first invested in Fiverr and its team of 40 in May 2012. Today the team supports a global network in more than 160 countries, and the platform has facilitated over 50 million transactions – between 5.5 million buyers and 830,000 sellers – opening up a new universe of talent for companies, and potential clients for independent workers.

When Fiverr began in 2010, e-commerce platforms existed to sell products. Micha, along with co-founder Shai Wininger, had the vision to see that the same was possible in services – productizing them so that buyers could enjoy the speed and efficiency of an online retail experience when shopping for talent. 

 
As a repeat entrepreneur, and having previously run a start-up accelerator, Micha knew from experience the difficulty of sourcing contractors for a growing business, and the time it took to identify and manage independent workers through traditional channels. Fiverr was created as the solution to that problem. Its core innovation has been to package up services into product categories it calls Gigs – such as app development, logo design or video production – allowing buyers to browse for specific skills, just as they would search Continue reading Fiverr rings the NYSE bell

Fiverr rings the NYSE bell

Micha Kaufman, Fiverr’s founder and CEO

What a great achievement for Micha Kaufman and the whole team at Fiverr, which made its debut on the NYSE today. They have built a company that is changing how the world works together, and which facilitate millions of transactions between buyers and sellers across over 200 categories.

We first invested in Fiverr and its team of 40 in May 2012. Today the team supports a global network in more than 160 countries, and the platform has facilitated over 50 million transactions – between 5.5 million buyers and 830,000 sellers – opening up a new universe of talent for companies, and potential clients for independent workers.

When Fiverr began in 2010, e-commerce platforms existed to sell products. Micha, along with co-founder Shai Wininger, had the vision to see that the same was possible in services – productizing them so that buyers could enjoy

Continue reading Fiverr rings the NYSE bell

Spotlight on Engineering Team Building: Lessons learned from Algolia

Team building is top of mind for any start-up founder or exec. Recruiting and retaining top talent is even more challenging for software engineers.

To get an insight into how successful start-ups approach team building, we spoke to Sylvain Utard, employee number 1 and VP of Engineering at Algolia, an Accel portfolio company. Algolia is transforming the search and discovery experience that businesses can offer their users online, managing over 50+ billion search queries a month for enterprise customers including WeWork, Zendesk, Twitch and Stripe. Algolia has been doubling YoY since we invested in 2015 and has now more than 300 people, including 90 engineers.

We asked Sylvain to share his secret tips with us.

How do you attract talent as an enterprise start-up?

Sylvain: Because we don’t have the visibility of a consumer brand or a well-established enterprise company, we focus on what differentiates us. The first is culture. Continue reading Spotlight on Engineering Team Building: Lessons learned from Algolia

Spotlight on Engineering Team Building: Lessons learned from Algolia


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code

Team building is top of mind for any start-up founder or exec. Recruiting and retaining top talent is even more challenging for software engineers.

To get an insight into how successful start-ups approach team building, we spoke to Sylvain Utard, employee number 1 and VP of Engineering at Algolia, an Accel portfolio company. Algolia is transforming the search and discovery experience that businesses can offer their users online, managing over 50+ billion search queries a month for enterprise customers including WeWork, Zendesk, Twitch and Stripe. Algolia has been doubling YoY since we invested in 2015 and has now more than 300 people, including 90 engineers.

We asked Sylvain to share his secret tips with us.

How do you attract talent as an enterprise start-up?

Sylvain: Because we don’t have the visibility of a consumer brand or a well-established enterprise company, we focus on what differentiates us. The first is culture. From the very beginning, our founders Nicolas and Julien talked about building a culture-first company, and for us it provides a way to both attract and assess candidates. 

The second is to demonstrate the reach of the product. Almost all of the tools, especially technical ones, that engineers use are customers of Algolia. That is a very powerful statement.

How do we get these messages across? We make sure the hiring managers are involved in the entire recruitment process, from sourcing candidates and selling the company. Not only does it ensure that we get across what the company is Continue reading Spotlight on Engineering Team Building: Lessons learned from Algolia

Meet Chainalysis, the startup that brought down the biggest dark web marketplace


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code

This post was written with my colleague Amit Kumar. We worked closely together on this exciting new investment.
 
*****************
 
While still very much in its infancy when it comes to development and adoption, a decentralized financial system has the ability to be massively disruptive and important for decades to come. However, in order for cryptocurrency to achieve this potential and for the industry to mature, there is a growing need for foundational infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to drive compliance and transparency between all stakeholders.
 
This is why we’re so excited to announce our investment in Chainalysis, a company that uniquely leverages deep analytics and machine learning to help law enforcement agencies track illicit crypto transactions and financial institutions comply with anti-money laundering rules — important pillars towards the inevitable maturation of the cryptocurrency space.

Chainalysis is the clear market leader in their vertical and sits at the nexus between crypto exchanges, financial institutions, regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies. They’ve earned this position by their incredible work and track record over the last few years helping law enforcement agencies cope with the rise of this new technology.

While there’s been a number of highly publicized examples including their role in helping creditors of Mt. Gox track down hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins to the Dutch police crediting the company with helping them find Hansa, one of the world’s biggest dark web drug marketplaces, to the company’s more recent Crypto Crime Series published earlier this year, much of Continue reading Meet Chainalysis, the startup that brought down the biggest dark web marketplace

Meet Chainalysis, the startup that brought down the biggest dark web marketplace

This post was written with my colleague Amit Kumar. We worked closely together on this exciting new investment.
 
*****************
 
While still very much in its infancy when it comes to development and adoption, a decentralized financial system has the ability to be massively disruptive and important for decades to come. However, in order for cryptocurrency to achieve this potential and for the industry to mature, there is a growing need for foundational infrastructure and regulatory frameworks to drive compliance and transparency between all stakeholders.
 
This is why we’re so excited to announce our investment in Chainalysis, a company that uniquely leverages deep analytics and machine learning to help law enforcement agencies track illicit crypto transactions and financial institutions comply with anti-money laundering rules — important pillars towards the inevitable maturation of the cryptocurrency space.

Chainalysis is the clear market leader in their vertical and sits at the nexus

Continue reading Meet Chainalysis, the startup that brought down the biggest dark web marketplace

Our Investment in Rockset

Jerry Chen with the Rockset Team.

Finding the shortest path from data to applications

The ascent of mobile and cloud computing has created an explosion of data types and data sources. We can now track real time data from our cars, phones, toasters, and combine that with customer information and transaction data. Unfortunately, even with all the open source tools and cloud services that are available, it has gotten more complex and more expensive to build useful data-driven applications. Today’s applications need real-time data processing, cloud storage, and the the familiarity of SQL support even on semi-structured data. As a result, developers spend most of their time stitching together data pipelines and use glue code to build these apps.

Luckily, the lives of developers, data scientists, and data engineers just a got a lot easier.

Rockset is launching the industry’s first serverless search and analytics engine to help developers and data scientists build

Continue reading Our Investment in Rockset

Vision and Grit: How Peopledoc defined a multi-billion HR Software category


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code

 
On July 17, Ultimate Software, a $10B HR software gorilla, announced the acquisition of Peopledoc for $300m – the largest software exit in France since the acquisition of Neolane by Adobe in 2013. Hats off to Jon Benhamou and Clement Buyse, the two founders, and to the wider Peopledoc team for this achievement!

Sometimes companies get to the point of acquisition in a straight line; most of the time, however, they don’t. It’s only the perseverance, grit and vision of the founders that makes it possible. Peopledoc is a great example, and the success of the company is deeply entrenched in the driving force of the founding team, who reinvented the business a couple of times to get to where they are today. This took foresight, courage, creativity and a lot of hard work. Let’s jump back to 2007 to see where it all began…
Celebrating Year 2
In a dark dorm room on the HEC (the French HBS) campus, Jon and Clement were scratching their heads in search of the business idea to present for their entrepreneurship major. They were lucky to have Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, founder of PriceMinister, and Jean-David Chamboredon, founder of ISAI, as their mentors. The four of them hatched their first idea: creating an online document management system for utility e-bills, which were starting to take off in France. When John and Clement graduated a few months later, and with the angel funding of Pierre and other friends, they started their first company, Novapost. Unfortunately, Continue reading Vision and Grit: How Peopledoc defined a multi-billion HR Software category

Vision and Grit: How Peopledoc defined a multi-billion HR Software category

 
On July 17, Ultimate Software, a $10B HR software gorilla, announced the acquisition of Peopledoc for $300m – the largest software exit in France since the acquisition of Neolane by Adobe in 2013. Hats off to Jon Benhamou and Clement Buyse, the two founders, and to the wider Peopledoc team for this achievement!

Sometimes companies get to the point of acquisition in a straight line; most of the time, however, they don’t. It’s only the perseverance, grit and vision of the founders that makes it possible. Peopledoc is a great example, and the success of the company is deeply entrenched in the driving force of the founding team, who reinvented the business a couple of times to get to where they are today. This took foresight, courage, creativity and a lot of hard work. Let’s jump back to 2007 to see where it all began…
Celebrating Year 2

Why We’re Betting on Notable Health

Notable Health Co-Founders Adam Ting, Pranay Kapadia and Justin White.

Our Seed and Series A Investments in Notable Health

When my colleague Saam Motamedi and I heard that Pranay Kapadia, Justin White, and Adam Ting decided to start Notable Health, Greylock was lucky enough to have the opportunity to become one of the first investors in the company when we led the seed round last December.

Health care is undergoing a digital transformation — the advent and rise of electronic health record (EHR) systems and the shift from paper to electronic records over the past decade illustrates the industry’s strong appetite for new technology to solve inefficiencies, reduce costs, and improve the patient/doctor experience.

When I went to see an orthopedist for a shoulder injury a few months ago, I witnessed one of many pain points first hand: physician documentation. Doctors spend hours inputting patient information or use expensive documentation services, such as

Continue reading Why We’re Betting on Notable Health

Taranis Acquires Aerial Imagery Platform Mavrx

The following article was originally published on AgFunderNews online edition   Israeli precision agriculture intelligence platform Taranis is acquiring the assets of Mavrx, the San Francisco-based aerial imagery platform. Taranis will integrate Mavrx’s aircraft-based ultra-high resolution (UHR) imagery product into its AI2 product line and bring existing Mavrx customers onto the Taranis platform. Taranis is also […]

The post Taranis Acquires Aerial Imagery Platform Mavrx appeared first on iAngels.

Noa Ruschin Rimini, founder of Grid4C, selected as the cover story and “Top Utilities Solution Provider 2018” by CIO Review

The following article was originally published in CIO Review print and online editions Grid4C: AI-Powered Energy Insights The Internet, electricity, and cellular phones are all technological innovations that have given rise to new business models, have radically transformed economies, and forever changed the way that mankind lives and works. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning […]

The post Noa Ruschin Rimini, founder of Grid4C, selected as the cover story and “Top Utilities Solution Provider 2018” by CIO Review appeared first on iAngels.

Building Workflows should be easy – and they will be…with Zenaton!


This post is by Philippe Botteri from Cracking The Code

This blog post was co-authored with Adrian Colyer, Venture Partner and former CTO of Pivotal
 
Nearly all businesses have process-related workflows that govern how their users interact with their service or automate internal tasks…and they are painful to code and even more painful to test. Hopefully things will change soon with Zenaton, the newest addition to the Accel family. We are joined in this seed round by our friends at Point9.
For instance, let’s suppose, in the light of the GDPR legislation a company wants to send a series of emails over a period of a few weeks, reminding people to explicitly opt-in to receive communications, so it can record their consent. Obviously, the emails should stop if consent is given at any point in time. In many cases the implementation will involve database changes, scheduled tasks, and cumbersome logic to tie it all together. What should be a simple workflow ends up creating a mess!
There are software applications, or workflow engines, that have been created to manage business processes. So, why does this happen? Because many existing workflow engines are hard to use, and it’s easier for a developer to hack something together themselves. After experiencing this issue many times over, the Zenaton team – Louis Cibot and Gilles Barbier – had had enough. They built a workflow service designed to delight developers with a simple and easy to use API. It’s just way easier to code a workflow using Zenaton than it is to roll Continue reading Building Workflows should be easy – and they will be…with Zenaton!