If you’ve been following us on Medium for a little while you’ve probably noticed that we’re super bullish about AI ¹. We’re an investor in several companies that use AI in unique ways to improve their product offerings (Candis, inFakt, Remerge, to name a few), and the latest addition to our portfolio, CallDesk, uses AI to build virtual call center agents that can automatically handle repetitive calls, putting an end to dumb IVRs (“press 1 for X, press 2 for Y,…).
AI may be an overused term (I think it is), but that doesn’t mean that its potential is overhyped. There is no doubt in my mind that AI is going to fundamentally change the way we engineer and use software in the next 5–10 years and that tens (if not hundreds) of billions of dollar of value will be created by those companies that manage to leverage AI to build better products.
With that in mind we’re delighted to welcome Nathan Benaich, an experienced investor and renowned AI expert, as a Venture Partner ². Nathan comes from Playfair Capital, where he led investments in companies such as Mapillary, Ravelin, Numerai, and Thought Machine, which leverage data and intelligent systems at their core. He will become our third Venture Partner, next to Janis Zech and Kolja Hebenstreit, two extremely successful entrepreneurs and investors (and co-founders of Fyber and Delivery Hero, respectively).
Nathan started his career as a scientist at the intersection of computational and experimental cancer biology. After submitting his PhD (here!) in 2013, he transitioned into venture capital to focus on investing into the emerging category of data-driven startups. Over four years, this led to investments into close to two dozen companies. Committed to growing an ecosystem around data in Europe, Nathan set up the Research and Applied AI Summit in 2015 and co-runs London.AI, which are communities for entrepreneurs and researchers who accelerate the science and applications of AI technology. Nathan is an advisor at TwentyBN, a video understanding company, and is the author of a widely-read newsletter analysing AI technology, research and startups.
Nathan is building a new venture firm focused on companies driven by data and intelligent systems, although we’re secretly hoping that after spending a couple of months in Pointnineland he won’t want to leave. Either way, having Nathan as a Venture Partner will help us and our portfolio companies further increase our understanding of AI (and hopefully to find lots of AI-powered truffles). Welcome Nathan, we’re incredibly excited to have you on board!