Tuesday December 1, 2020

AI ‘expert finder’ secures £1m in funding

13th January, 2019

Cambridge-based Techspert.io, a start-up that connects businesses with expert advice, has secured £1 million in second-round funding.

The company, formerly known as Biotechspert, was started by co-founders Graham Mills and David Holden-White in 2016 when the pair attended Cambridge University. While working in the biotech sphere, they experienced personally how painstaking it was to find the most suitable expert to answer a specific query.

Speaking to The Sunday Business Post, Mills, a native of Dublin, said: “David and I founded techspert.io upon the realisation in our previous roles how dependent companies are on external advice to support their growth, whether it’s to learn about frontier technologies to invest in, or educate on how to enter a new international market.

techspert.io co-founders David Holden-White and Dr. Graham Mills

“Yet despite how essential these insights are for success, the way in which they are accessed, such as via personal networks or long-winded consultancy projects, is antiquated, laborious, and ruthlessly data-inefficient.”

Mills and Holden-White realised the potential for an AI-powered platform which could analyse billions of data points and index millions of experts in order to pair companies with the best possible candidates across a wide array of fields and specialities.

They teamed up with Hari Jackson, then a scientific computing PhD student and now their chief technology officer, to develop an AI-based solution to ‘interrogate expertise’.

The company has since grown to a staff of 16 which includes computer science graduates, software developers and experienced client-relations managers.

They now count among their clients several large consultancies and private equity groups.

“Our platform can scour more than 150 million experts in minutes to pinpoint and connect companies to highly specific expertise,” said Holden- White.

“That’s a pool of experts around 250 times larger than they can access through any single expert network. The AI also enables techspert.io to learn continuously, adjusting its ranking as it perfects its ability to recognise genuine expertise, and to evolve as experts do.”

The £1 million funding round was led by Cambridge angel Simon Thorpe, who previously invested in Swiftkey and Vocal IQ, two Cambridge-based businesses bought for a combined total of $350 million.

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