Breinify announces $11M seed to bring data science to the marketing team









Breinify announces $11M seed to bring data science to the marketing team – TechCrunch











































Breinify announces $11M seed to bring data science to the marketing team

Breinify is a startup working to apply data science to personalization, and do it in a way that makes it accessible to nontechnical marketing employees to build more meaningful customer experiences. Today the company announced a funding round totaling $11 million.

The investment was led by Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital with participation from Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Amino Capital, Startup Capital Ventures and Sterling Road.

Breinify co-founder and CEO Diane Keng says that she and co-founder and CTO Philipp Meisen started the company to bring predictive personalization based on data science to marketers with the goal of helping them improve a customer’s experience by personalizing messages tailored to individual tastes.

“We’re big believers that the world, especially consumer brands, really need strong predictive personalization. But when you think about consumer big brands or the retailers that you buy from, most of them aren’t data scientists, nor do they really know how to activate [machine learning] at scale,” Keng told TechCrunch.

She says that she wanted to make this type of technology more accessible by hiding the complexity behind the algorithms powering the platform. “Instead of telling you how powerful the algorithms are, we show you [what that means for the] consumer experience, and in the end what that means for both the consumer and you as a marketer individually,” she said.

That involves the kind of customizations you might expect around website messaging, emails, texts or whatever channel a marketer might be using to communicate with the buyer. “So the AI decides you should be shown these products, this offer, this specific promotion at this time, [whether it’s] the web, email or SMS. So you’re not getting the same content across different channels, and we do all that automatically for you, and that’s [driven by the algorithms],” she said.

Breinify launched in 2016 and participated in the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield competition in San Francisco that year. She said it was early days for the company, but it helped them focus their approach. “I think it gave us a huge stage presence. It gave us a chance to test out the idea just to see where the market was in regards to needing a solution like this. We definitely learned a lot. I think it showed us that people were interested in personalization,” she said. And although the company didn’t win the competition, it ended up walking away with a funding deal.

Today the startup is growing fast and has 24 employees, up from 10 last year. Keng, who is an Asian woman, places a high premium on diversity.

“We partner with about four different kinds of diversity groups right now to source candidates, but at the end of the day, I think if you are someone that’s eager to learn, and you might not have all the skills yet, and you’re [part of an under-represented] group we encourage everyone to apply as much as possible. We put a lot of work into trying to create a really well-rounded group,” she said.












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The goal seems to be to integrate safety principles into the existing priority system of AI development that generally favors efficiency and power. Like any other industry, it’s easier and more effective to incorporate something from the beginning than to bolt it on at the end. Attempting to make some of the biggest models out there able to be picked apart and understood may be more work than building them in the first place. Anthropic seems to be starting fresh.

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“Anthropicu2019s goal is to make the fundamental research advances that will let us build more capable, general, and reliable AI systems, then deploy these systems in a way that benefits people,” said Dario Amodei, CEO of the new venture, in a short post announcing the company and its $124 million in funding.

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That funding, by the way, is as star-studded as you might expect. It was led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and included James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, Eric Schmidt and the Center for Emerging Risk Research, among others.

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The company is a public benefit corporation, and the plan for now, as the limited information on the site suggests, is to remain heads-down on researching these fundamental questions of how to make large models more tractable and interpretable. We can expect more information later this year, perhaps, as the mission and team coalesces and initial results pan out.

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The name, incidentally, is adjacent to anthropocentric, and concerns relevancy to human experience or existence. Perhaps it derives from the “Anthropic principle,” the notion that intelligent life is possible in the universe because… well, we’re here. If intelligence is inevitable under the right conditions, the company just has to create those conditions.

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As AI has grown from a menagerie of research projects to include a handful of titanic, industry-powering models like GPT-3, there is a need for the sector to evolve u2014 or so thinks Dario Amodei, former VP of research at OpenAI, who struck out on his own to create a new company a few months […]

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WhatsApp, Google and other internet giants comply with India’s IT rules"},"content":{"rendered":"

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch.

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Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and share contact details of representatives tasked withu00a0compliance, nodal point of reference and grievance redressals to address on-ground concerns.u00a0

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The aforementioned firms have complied with this requirement, the government note and a person familiar with the matter said. The firms were required to comply with the new IT rules by this week.

n

Twitter has yet to comply with the rules. u201cTwitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer,u201d a note prepared by New Delhi said, adding that the rules require the aforementioned officials to be direct employees.

n

Tension has been brewing between Twitter and the government of India of late. This week, police in Delhi visited Twitter offices to u201cserve a noticeu201d about an investigation into its intel on classifying Indian politiciansu2019 tweets as misleading. Twitter called the move a form of intimidation, cited concerns about its employees and requested the government to respect citizens’ rights to free speech.

n

n

WhatsApp has complied with the aforementioned rules, but not with the requirement about traceability, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. WhatsApp sued the Indian government earlier this week over the requirement about bringing a way to trace the originator of messages. WhatsApp said it would have to compromise every users’ privacy to be able to comply with this rule.

n

It is unclear at this point whether Apple, which operates iMessage, and Signal have complied with the rules.

n

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Wednesday had asked the social media firms for an update on their compliant status, TechCrunch first reported.

n

India is a key overseas market for several technology giants, including Facebook and Google, both of which identify the nation as its biggest market by users. Neighboring nation Pakistan, which had proposed similar rules as India last year, had to withdraw them after tech giants united and threatened to leave the nation.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed Indian startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with the South Asian nationu2019s new IT rules, according to two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch. Indiau2019s new IT rules, unveiled in February this year, require firms to appoint and […]

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The Rashtrapati Bhavan is the official home of the president located at the Western end of Rajpath in New Delhi, India.

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Blue, a $3 monthly subscription service, could be coming soon"},"content":{"rendered":"

Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you.
n

n

Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, confirming earlier findings from this unofficial source. Though users canu2019t yet subscribe to Twitter Blue u2013 even after downloading the app update u2013 Wong dug up details about the service, signaling that its launch could be imminent.u00a0u00a0

n

n

In addition to the undo button, which Wong uncovered as early as March, this service will include a reader mode, which turns tweet threads into u201ceasy-to-read text.u201d Twitter acquired Scroll and Revue this year in an effort to improve usersu2019 reading experience on the app, so this addition makes sense. Plus, users will be able to change the color of the Twitter app icon, as well as the color theme of their Timeline, a feature thatu2019s already available on the web. Twitter Blue subscribers can also organize tweets into Collections u2013 this feature looks like an updated version of Bookmarks, but with the added ability to organize tweets into folders.u00a0

n

Currently, Twitter ads make up 85% of the companyu2019s revenue. Twitter told Bloomberg in February that it plans to u201cresearch and experimentu201d with new ways to monetize the platform, especially as its user growth has slowed. But overu00a0the last several months, Twitter has teased some of the platformu2019s biggest changes since doubling the 140-character tweet limit in 2018. These features include Super Follows, Tip Jar, Twitter Spaces, and more.

n

n

This week at J.P. Morganu2019s Global Technology, Media, and Communications conference, Twitter CFO Ned Segal indicated that the company views Twitter Blue and Super Follows as two separate types of subscriptions. On Google Play, the Twitter app page lists an in-app product priced at $4.99 per item, which might indicate the upcoming launch of Super Follows, too. Segal also said that Twitter would offer more information about the service in the coming months, then u201cultimately roll it out to people around the world.u201d

n

Finally, for those of us wondering u2013u00a0no, thereu2019s no indication of plans for an u201cedit tweetu201d button at this time.

n

 

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Great news for typo-prone tweeters: Twitter Blue, a $2.99 monthly subscription, appears to be coming soon to a Timeline near you. Two weeks ago, researcher Jane Manchun Wong first reported that Twitteru2019s new subscription service is in the works. But yesterday, Twitteru2019s iOS App Store listing updated to list Twitter Blue as an in-app purchase, […]

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Breinify is a startup working to apply data science to personalization, and do it in a way that makes it accessible to nontechnical marketing employees to build more meaningful customer experiences. Today the company announced a funding round totaling $11 million.

n

The investment was led by Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital with participation from Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Amino Capital, Startup Capital Ventures and Sterling Road.

n

Breinify co-founder and CEO Diane Keng says that she and co-founder and CTO Philipp Meisen started the company to bring predictive personalization based on data science to marketers with the goal of helping them improve a customer’s experience by personalizing messages tailored to individual tastes.

n

“We’re big believers that the world, especially consumer brands, really need strong predictive personalization. But when you think about consumer big brands or the retailers that you buy from, most of them aren’t data scientists, nor do they really know how to activate [machine learning] at scale,” Keng told TechCrunch.

n

She says that she wanted to make this type of technology more accessible by hiding the complexity behind the algorithms powering the platform. “Instead of telling you how powerful the algorithms are, we show you [what that means for the] consumer experience, and in the end what that means for both the consumer and you as a marketer individually,” she said.

n

n

That involves the kind of customizations you might expect around website messaging, emails, texts or whatever channel a marketer might be using to communicate with the buyer. “So the AI decides you should be shown these products, this offer, this specific promotion at this time, [whether it’s] the web, email or SMS. So you’re not getting the same content across different channels, and we do all that automatically for you, and that’s [driven by the algorithms],” she said.

n

Breinify launched in 2016 and participated in the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield competition in San Francisco that year. She said it was early days for the company, but it helped them focus their approach. “I think it gave us a huge stage presence. It gave us a chance to test out the idea just to see where the market was in regards to needing a solution like this. We definitely learned a lot. I think it showed us that people were interested in personalization,” she said. And although the company didn’t win the competition, it ended up walking away with a funding deal.

n

Today the startup is growing fast and has 24 employees, up from 10 last year. Keng, who is an Asian woman, places a high premium on diversity.

n

“We partner with about four different kinds of diversity groups right now to source candidates, but at the end of the day, I think if you are someone that’s eager to learn, and you might not have all the skills yet, and you’re [part of an under-represented] group we encourage everyone to apply as much as possible. We put a lot of work into trying to create a really well-rounded group,” she said.

n

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Breinify is a startup working to apply data science to personalization, and do it in a way that makes it accessible to nontechnical marketing employees to build more meaningful customer experiences. Today the company announced a funding round totaling $11 million. The investment was led by Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital with participation from Streamlined […]

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

rnrn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

rnrn

Disclosures:

rnrn

Ron was formerly corporate blogger for Intronis where he wrote once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

","cbAvatar":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/diuuw7dfbczpdwmcpldm.png","twitter":"ron_miller"}],"author":[{"id":521068,"name":"Ron Miller","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/","slug":"ron-miller","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0b82cfe9f0e15c08c5816481c9f383d9?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"https://techcrunch.com/author/ron-miller/","twitter":"https://twitter.com/ron_miller","linkedin":"http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronsmiller","facebook":"","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ron-miller"},"position":"Enterprise Reporter","cbDescription":"

Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

rnrn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

rnrn

Disclosures:

rnrn

Ron was formerly corporate blogger for Intronis where he wrote once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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