Startups Venture

Intento Raises $3M Seed Round To Scale AI Transformations

Intento brought in a $3 million seed round to help companies procure and deploy a range of best-fit artificial intelligence solutions for content processing.

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Konstantin Savenkov, CEO, started the Berkeley, California-based company in 2016 with Grigory Sapunov. Their AI integration platform, already in use by companies in the retail, travel and technology spaces, uses machine translation (MT) to train and evaluate MT models on more than 25 systems, such as Amazon and Google AutoML. The MT models are made available in those existing software systems and workflows, and can work with conventional integration platforms such as Salesforce, BMC and SnapLogic, as well.

“We help enterprises integrate with third-party AI services,” said Savenkov in an interview. “One of the last pivots was in the beginning of 2019, when we started to focus more on large enterprises—guys who needed an integration platform and were struggling to use AI. As a result, we’ve been able to close on several good deals over the last year.”

The seed round was led by Flint Capital with participation from Berkeley SkyDeck, SmartHub and other angel investors. It follows original funding of $1.3 million by the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, PIK.vc and SmartHub that began in 2016, when the company was founded. In total, the company has raised $4.3 million in funding, Savenkov said in an interview.

In addition to the investment, he said, Intento hired one of its early angel investors, Anton Antich, to be chief operating officer in April. Antich, who came to the company from Veeam Software where he was senior vice president of strategic operations, will focus on scaling Intento for multinational corporate customers.

Savenkov plans to use the new funding to grow Intento’s sales and marketing operations in Europe and in the U.S., as well as to expand its customer success team.

“We had success last year with me as a half-time salesperson, but our main goal right now is to have a normal sales staff that can bring in new clients and help our existing clients,” he said. “We also want to go beyond machine translations to adding speech AI services and be able to upsell those new services.”

The company’s client base is about half-and-half in Europe and the U.S., so Savenkov aims to open a hub in Europe in the future. Its revenue also continues to grow, and he estimates to bring in more than $1.6 million in annual recurring revenue.

As part of the investment, Flint Capital partner Andrew Gershfeld joined Intento’s board of directors. He said the seed round was in line with investments Flint has made in startups focusing on artificial intelligence over the past year. One of its most notable was cybersecurity platform CyberX in March 2019, which was acquired by Microsoft in May.

Gershfeld said he sees that a lot of enterprise clients demanding business process automation are looking for a company that has product ties with an AI adoption platform.

“Other companies take a service-based approach with their integration, but we like what  Intento is doing, where the integration is quick and they take a product-driven approach,” he added. “We also see the progression they have with customers, with opportunities to scale inside, not just selling one solution to one department, but being able to spread their sales inside the customer to different departments. We believe that is a huge potential point to grow revenue.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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