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Israeli startup Forwrd, which offers an AI-driven business intelligence platform to identify hot leads from business data and act upon them, has come out of stealth mode with $3.5 million in seed funding from Angular Ventures. The company said it plans to use the round to build its team and accelerate its go-to-market efforts.
Today, organizations around the world are leveraging data to make business-critical decisions and improve processes. The effort has particularly accelerated in light of the pandemic, however, the current scheme of things requires frontline employees – those actually responsible for making the decisions (like sales development reps) – to depend on business analysts, integration developers, and other gatekeepers who first derive value/insights from data. This creates friction and slows down the frontline employees’ ability to execute plans aimed at driving marketing, sales, and customer retention.
Forwrd’s no-code business intelligence solution
To solve this problem, Tel Aviv-based Forwrd offers a self-service, no-code platform that allows managers to define their business objectives (e.g., marketing qualified lead conversion) and instantly identify hidden opportunities and critical risks in their data pipeline as well as the response measures with the help of AI.
“Forwrd is a native cloud application (built on AWS) with an integration layer that connects to multiple business applications. Through proprietary ETL, data is sent to a machine learning engine that runs statistical and mathematical algorithms to clean and qualify the data, to be later used to extract (the) insights,” Kobi Stok, the CEO of the company, told Venturebeat.
In particular, the platform uses a combination of a scoring technology that ranks potential leads and customers, a smart prioritization engine that organizes which leads to pursue first, and an AI-driven engine to recommend the best actions that could improve the user’s originally defined business objectives.
“These recommended actions can then be shared as push notifications across teams and used as a powerful enablement mechanism to empower frontline employees to better prioritize their workload and plan their outreach,” Stok said. The notifications go right inside the business applications (Salesforce, Slack, Google Chrome) of frontline employees, enabling them to base decisions on hard data in minutes, instead of days and weeks.
A number of companies have started offering tools and platforms to accelerate value generation from data, including players like DataRobot and Dataiku. However, Forwrd claims to offer a more comprehensive product.
“We have 2 buckets of competitors. One is enterprise AI, where companies like DataRobot and Dataiku offer solutions geared towards data analysts with the premise to adopt machine learning. The other consists of companies like Mintigo, which are point solutions that run AI for a specific funnel stage. We connect both worlds, enabling non-technical business users to generate insights and predictions for every stage of the funnel, without any prior knowledge in data science, significantly accelerating sales, marketing, and success velocity,” Stok said.
Moving ahead, the company plans to focus on growing its customer base by expanding its team, particularly in the research and development department, and accelerating the go-to-market strategy. At present, it claims to have roped in about seven customers with its business intelligence platform, including private and public players with hundreds of employees.
“The most notable feedback is that we save them tremendous time and effort on processes that currently take weeks, and sometimes months,” the CEO added.
Globally, the business intelligence software market was valued at $18.33 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $35.18 billion by 2028.