Conversational AI That Turns Complex Data Into Simple Dialogue

Spero Ventures invests in Hyro

Sara Eshelman
May 25 · 3 min read

Sara Eshelman and Jonathan Kroll

Chatbots have a bad reputation, and for good reason. They’re narrow in their ability to answer questions, they require a lot of training and setup time, and they don’t automatically adapt as organizations add new data, services, or capabilities. All those updates have to happen manually. For complex organizations, the cost of adopting and maintaining a traditional chatbot is prohibitive.

Hyro is an adaptive communications platform with a fundamentally different approach than existing conversational AI solutions. It can be adopted in a matter of hours, enabling organizations of any size or technical sophistication to engage in real-time, bi-directional communication with users through text, touch and voice. Even organizations with vast, constantly changing datasets can help users navigate all that information effortlessly with Hyro.

I first experienced Hyro as a patient at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City: it enabled me to find a physician based on gender, specialty, insurance and more, and schedule an appointment. Instantly, and entirely through chat. This might not sound revolutionary, but for hospitals and other information-dense organizations, this type of concierge service has been out of reach. With Hyro, patients no longer have to stay on hold with their doctor’s office or get told to wait for a call back hours later just to make an appointment.

Hyro’s approach leverages a knowledge graph and an understanding of linguistics to automatically ingest detailed customer data and deliver adaptive communication capabilities immediately. This means it can interpret a range of structured and unstructured data, make connections between disparate data sources, and answer questions seamlessly for end users. Best of all, it’s dynamic, meaning that as organizations’ underlying data changes, so does Hyro’s knowledge base.

Hyro’s adaptability was on full display early in the pandemic when its COVID-19 Virtual Assistant began fielding questions from concerned patients at healthcare systems across the country. Hyro was up and running within 48 hours, and was initially provided for free to help healthcare systems manage the unprecedented surge in patient requests. As CDC and local guidelines changed, so did Hyro’s responses. Hyro also enables organizations to meet customers where they are — through voice, text, and chat across a variety of platforms. As the pandemic progressed, Hyro extended its platform to vaccine distribution, answering questions about eligibility based on local criteria, and making outbound calls and sending messages to alert community members of their status and help them find appointments.

Hyro is led by Israel Krush, Rom Cohen, and Uri Valevski. Israel and Rom began working on Hyro while students at Cornell Tech and were soon joined by Uri, who had led similar projects as part of Google’s Duplex team. These three co-founders have known one another for more than a decade, and there’s no better team to create not only a company, but also a little bit of magic through adaptive communications.

Hyro is in the process of dramatically, yet subtly changing healthcare and improving patients’ experiences everywhere — but it doesn’t stop there. The technology can empower any organization in nearly any industry to meet customers where they are and communicate seamlessly. They’re already doing so in government, real estate and commerce — and it’s just the beginning. As a customer and end user, I’m thrilled to finally enjoy the experience of engaging with these organizations. And as an investor, it gives me great pleasure to announce Spero Ventures’ investment in Hyro.

We couldn’t think of a better team to partner with. Thank you, Israel, Rom and Uri, and the whole Hyro team, for including Spero Ventures in your adventure!

Spero Ventures

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