Natural Language Processing for languages spoken across Africa, the Middle East and India
The NeuralSpace Platform is a low-code SaaS solution for software developers to build NLP applications in more than 55 languages.
The company graduated from Techstars in April 2021 and its team encompasses 10 computer scientists who have published more than 20 academic papers in AI and NLP.
The NeuralSpace Platform will be the go-to solution for any software that requires NLP capabilities in languages spoken across Africa, the Middle East and India.
Seeking to raise £650k for an 18-month runway, of which £200k is committed.
Explain what your venture does.
NeuralSpace is a Natural Language Processing (NLP) company specialising in languages spoken across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our SaaS platform is your one-stop solution for any NLP features, does not require any data science expertise, and you only need a handful of data to train your custom solution.
What stage is your business?
Describe your advisers.
IVMS (Marla Shapiro, Ashley Unitt), Techstars (Sami Abou Saab, Paurush Sonkar, Vijay Tirathrai).
Give an overview of your startup's financing history.
Pre-seed investment by Techstars (6% equity for US$ 20k as convertible equity, US$ 100k as convertible note with valuation cap of US$ 3 million) Product sale to Reverie Language Technologies (part of Reliance Jio) of ARR US$ 50k from 2019 to 2023.
Explain the ownership structure of your company.
Equal amount of shares owned by three co-founders (25% each), 15% reserved for employees (ESOP), ~9% of shares owned by Techstars once convertible note is converted.
How many employees do you have?
3 Founders 1 Chief Revenue Officer 2 ML Engineers 2 Applied Research Scientists 1 Operations Manager 1 Web Developer 4 Interns.
How much money are you seeking to raise in the current round?
Do you have any existing commitments to the current round?
US$ 250k-300k (soft commitment at valuation cap of US$ 6-8 million).
Explain why you are raising finance.
Expansion plans for the revenue and product departments (growing to US$ 4 million ARR in 2022) - Expansion plans in India and MENA (1 Regional Head of Sales, 4 Sales Managers, 1 Chief Solution Engineer, 4 Solution Engineers, 1 Marketing Manager, 1 Research Scientist) - Runway: November 2022.
Please explain the history of your venture.
NeuralSpace started as a student project of the three co-founders who were all Engineering and Computer Science students 4 years ago (in Germany and Denmark). We saw chatbots being the "new cool thing" and wanted to evaluate how well they perform in various languages spoken across India. Using existing solutions (rather code found on GitHub), we quickly realised that these Indian languages have much smaller data sets compared to high-resource languages such as English, Spanish, French, etc. and the existing solutions are not data-efficient enough to be used for Indian languages. This led to the first steps on the development of our core technology. Then, the founding team moved into different geographies (London, Zurich, Montreal), but continued thinking how chatbots and other NLP solutions can be used in Indian languages, or broadly speaking low-resource languages. At that time, the CEO, Felix, started to regularly attend Expert-in- Residence sessions at the E-lab, participated in other events and took part in the IVMS and MBA Connect programmes. Now, the CTO, Ayushman, moved back to India, works full-time for NeuralSpace and has built up a development team in India with highly qualified, research-driven individuals.
Please explain the longer term, future vision for the Company
NeuralSpace wants to be the go-to solution for software developers to build any kind of NLP solutions in whatever language they need it.
Explain the core technologies and/or service propositions of your venture.
NeuralSpace's core technology enables NLP solutions to achieve accuracies of 90-95% in many applications and languages. This is considerably higher than competitors, for example IBM (link below). The core technology is very data-efficient and has low computations costs. IBM accuracy for NLP in Indian languages: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/the-interviews- blog/accuracy-in-ai-is-a-function-of-availability-of-quality-data-building-nlp-tools-for-low-resource-indian-languages-is-hard/
Does your commercial strategy rely on intellectual property assets?
Partly. The core technology is our IP that gives us a competitive advantage. However, our SaaS platform has a marketplace included where solutions can be re-sold. While it is not too difficult to build such a marketplace, it is nearly impossible to copy the content of it. We plan to have a community that actively contributes to this marketplace and can co-sell their solutions there.
What commercial progress have you made?
US$ 50k ARR secured until 2023 - 5 companies in early-access programme for SaaS platform starting on 30 April (free for first month, then converting into MRR of > US$ 500 per company).
References and notesEdit
- Source: the company.