Well it’s that time of year – time to take a look back and a look forward, at an early stage company a year feels like a decade! It is unbelievable what a focused team can accomplish in such a short period of time, and 2018 has been no exception for us. As I think back, a few highlights jump out at me:
Our Vision/Mission: It turns out creating a strong Vision and Mission statement is really tough! We spent several weeks crafting and honing, getting feedback and input, and debating the inclusion or exclusion of every word. We wanted it to be pithy, meaningful, and durable. In the end, we really love where we landed:
Our Vision: We envision a world where machine learning is so widespread, seamless and human-friendly, it no longer seems like technology – a future that empowers everyone to make ethical, data-driven decisions.
Our Mission: Indico enables the enterprise to solve big problems with small data by transforming unstructured content into structured insight.
Our Product: when we started the year, we had just really begun to ramp up our efforts to create an application around our core technology. It was an ambitious goal- we challenged ourselves to see if we could actually “productize” Deep Learning. Such that the technology, in the form of a solution-oriented user experience, could actually enable the enterprise to take advantage of the striking power of AI without the need for difficult-to-find AI talent or expensive and complex deployments. It worked! 3 months after our first release in June, we were recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Data Science and Machine Learning. The alumni of Cool Vendor recognition have gone on to do amazing things (DataRobot, Blue Prism, etc) so we feel like we are in good company! Gartner’s report said it best:
“Indico’s approach makes deep learning a practical solution for subject matter experts (SMEs) facing unstructured content challenges. This is ambitious and exciting, as both deep learning and unstructured content analytics are areas where even expert data scientists are still climbing the learning curve”
By the end of the year we had settled on a name for our product: Indico IPA, which stands for Intelligent Process Automation (more on that story, and the beer below). Our Team: Getting the core team right makes everything easier as you grow. Corporate culture stems from the core, and we worked hard this year to add key pieces to the team including machine learning talent, engineering talent, and marketing talent. The challenges of growing a young technology company seem overwhelming some days, and it takes a special profile to weather the uncertainties and hurdles day in day out to get to experience the incredible rewards when we hit key milestones.Our Customers: 2018 has been a real journey in finding our ideal customer. AI in general and Indico specifically represents a technology with many possible applications, but at the end of the day, focus drives success. In many ways we came back to where we started. Our ability to understand unstructured content- documents, emails, text and images, and use that understanding to automate critical business processes turns out to be a perfect fit for Insurance and Financial Services, and that’s where we found opportunities in 2018. We signed our first ever enterprise customer to a 2-year renewal this year-a great vote of confidence and signed several others. Automation, in general, is having an absolute moment, projected to grow from $1B this year to $8B by 2025.Our Investors: In 2018 we added a terrific new investor-Osage Venture Partners, who led our $4M round in January. David Drahms joined our board and the Osage team was a critical part of our momentum in 2018, nicely complementing our existing investors .406 Ventures, Hyperplane and Boston Seed Capital.
Indico IPA’s ready for shipment!
The year ended with one more fun story about the Indico extended family. Once we had settled on our product name- Indico IPA – we couldn’t resist the obvious and so of course we decided to create our own Boston-brewed IPA. It turns out that one of Indico’s angel investors Matt Malloy owns Dorchester Brewing. After a quick sit down he loved the idea and the Indico IPA was born. We crafted them as “crowlers”, 32 oz can with a custom label designed by Indico’s own creative director Mike Langlie. We shipped them out to customers as our 2018 thank you to great response!We are super pumped for 2019 and want to wish the Indicrew, all our supporters, and all our customers a Happy Holiday and productive new year!