Last month we announced a $4m VC led round to help us expand. This latest round was led by Fidelis Capital and our prior investors, TechOperators, also participated in the round. We also added Jim Gagnard, ex-CEO of Smart Signal (acquired by GE) into our BOD as our latest independent board member. Investors in this last round also included a strategic with deep expertise in Aerospace and Defense globally.
Looking back at our 4-year history, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on our past, paint a picture of where we are today, and explain the road ahead for Predikto.
We started with the idea that automated insights from large amounts of industrial equipment data could disrupt how maintenance, operations, logistics, PLM, and after market capabilities for large industrial players. Organizations spend millions adding sensors, improving business processes, deploying software to improve how businesses are run, but in the end, humans are heavily required to extract insights from data. With the explosion of new sensors and IoT, more data means more challenges in gaining actionable insights from that data. Our focus and goal is to try and “automate” machine learning and predictive analytics algorithm development as much as possible to provide targeted solutions to problems faced by our customers. If we could automatically create lemonade from lemons, we were onto something big. We raised our first $3.6m of funding in December of 2014. This enabled us to expand our core team which primarily included Robert, Will and me. We were able to bring in the right talent with expertise who had scars building large scale complex cloud-based software applications (Roy joined to lead our Engineering team). We also invested in Sales & Marketing at that time. We were going to market with a wide net and chasing anything that moved. After gaining a deeper understanding of our market, customers and how they “do business”, we felt it was critical for us to focus in one vertical and then expand from there.
About 18 months ago we decided to focus in Rail. We had some early customers and a lot of new opportunities in Rail globally. We also had a few channel partners who would help us expand in the rail vertical. We hired 4 team members who came from Rail and this brought credibility, expertise, and a much deeper understanding of our customers and prospects that we lacked from the start (Greg joined to lead of Services / Solutions team). Our success enabled us to expand our use cases, experience, and gain more scars. Our success made it possible to begin to expand beyond Rail and open up the dialog with prospects in Aviation, Shipping, and now Wind Turbines. We invested heavily in productizing and improving the Predikto Enterprise Platform for fast data ingestion and ETL. We also continued to invest in automating and expanding the capabilities of Predikto MAX. This has made it possible to do more with less (people and time). In the last 6 months, we have been focusing on the latest release of Predikto Maintain which we believe is a huge step forward in helping asset-intensive organizations to operationalize in the real world how a maintenance engineer would translate the predictive output from very advanced and sophisticated machine learning algorithms into maintenance notifications or actionable warnings. The context and supporting information provided by the Predikto Maintain application is critical in helping a Maintenance Engineer feel comfortable and answer the questions to:
Today, we are expanding in multiple accounts globally across Freight Rail, Commuter Rail, Shipping (terminals), and Aviation. Our platform and messaging are working. The space is still trying to sift through all the cluttered messaging from big and small competitors. Our approach is to let our results speak for themselves.
So now what? This latest round of funding is to expand the team to ensure the current customer expansions and deployments go well. We have a backlog of work and deployments for the year that is forcing us to continue investing in our software to ensure partners and customers can expand the deployment of Predikto software on their own. We are also expanding into Azure later this year due to pressure from customers (we are in AWS EU and North America today). Our team is solid and we continue to add key resources on a monthly basis. I am proud of what we are doing and the direction we are going. We are landing new huge customers who are leaders in their space. They have invested in Data Science and advanced analytics, and they feel they need our help to get to the next phase in improving asset uptime with our analytics capabilities.