A hedge fund that gives away all of its data to people it doesn’t know and still stays private. A virtual lab for smarter business solutions. Smart sales conducted from a smartphone with its own virtual assistant—these are all artificial intelligence projects expanding right now, and these are just the ones that received a new boost of funding this week.
Numerai, a double-blind hedge fund that sends out encrypted data to anonymous data scientists it then pays in bitcoin, has just announced $6 million in new funding led by Union Square Ventures. Additionally, Element AI—a platform for corporations to better explore artificial intelligence solutions—and Tact, a CRM startup that turns a smartphone into a virtual sales assistant, have both announced funding rounds with Microsoft Ventures as an investor.
Chuck Ganapathi, co-founder and CEO of Tact, told Bank Innovation:
What Tact does is apply AI to the user and their workflow, helping them become more productive. For sales individuals, they rely on many tools and systems but hardly have the time to spend updating all of them.
With Tact, they don’t need to repeat updating different records with the same information, they can do that with the ease of one scan, swipe, text or voice-command. Tact integrates all the user’s most important systems like LinkedIn, Salesforce and phone contacts and allows the user to command all of them with either voice, SMS or an app. This means salespeople can give an update once, and have all their records updated with the same information accordingly, no more switching and logging into various systems or tools.
This comes after Microsoft Ventures announced the creation of a fund specially for investment in artificial intelligence startups, which is a growing area of interest across multiple industries.
Tact, which just announced the close of a $15 million Series B, is one of the investments in that fund.
The app creates a “virtual assistant” for salespeople, all on mobile, by linking the user’s email, calendar, LinkedIn connections (a social media platform that Microsoft recently acquired for $26.2 billion, incidentally) as well as their CRM history.
For salespeople, Tact gives them a more conversational and unified way to interact with their daily used apps – phone, email, calendar, maps, LinkedIn, CRM and more – through our app, SMS or voice…Our goal is to own the salesperson’s workflow.