Why We Invested: Altada

By Kate Fullen, Venture Investment Analyst at Elkstone

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a significant revolutionary force of the upcoming digital era – it’s changing what it means to be productive, how humans work, how systems operate and much more. The Elkstone Team has seen its power in action across our portfolio in industries from construction to health & safety to education.

Yet, AI is still an enigmatic and intimidating force for many businesses and there’s a fear of getting left behind. The truth is that getting left behind is a real threat to businesses – the longer companies wait to explore and adopt AI, the greater the gulf between AI-adopters and non-AI adopters becomes. Altada is on a mission to make “AI Possible.” Co-founders Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker had our attention when they spoke about their vision of bringing AI within the reach of all businesses.

What got us excited:

Altada has built a deep learning AI platform that combines a range of technologies and is trained on millions of data sets. Volumes of stagnant and often under-used data are fed into the platform and insights are extracted at a fraction of the typical manual processing time. When we first met the team, it was the platform’s capability for ingesting volumes of data at speed, the wide variety of its potential use cases (from healthcare to financial services), and the quality of the initial partnerships that piqued our interest.

Altada had created a foundation that could help companies access valuable AI algorithms without needing an AI team. This led us to a second key consideration in assessing this opportunity – the AI talent gap in the market. There simply isn’t enough talent to satisfy the demands of companies big and small around the world looking to implement AI solutions. This shortage makes it difficult for businesses to develop  in-house AI solutions and in turn, creates a very large market opportunity for an alternative solution. Altada allows its selected customers to plug this AI talent gap. In effect, by collaborating with Altada, customers can unleash the power of AI within their organisation in a fraction of the time it would take to recruit, train, and retain an in-house team. Altada can do this for many customers at a time, and as the company grows, its ability to continuously provide edge is likely to accelerate.

It became clear early on that Altada had both deep domain expertise and a strong company culture. Both attributes are led from the top; Allan is a leading voice in AI having shaped Ireland’s National Strategy for AI and the University of Limerick AI Masters, and Niamh brings a deep understanding of AI privacy, ethics, and culture which has been pivotal in Altada’s growth to date. The pair are building the AI ecosystem from the ground- up, having created an accelerator programme, Alessor AI in Tangent Trinity College for Irish AI start-ups, and strategically expanded geographically to ensure their presence in the AI/blockchain talent hubs around the world. This is a team with global vision and ambition –

it’s a vision of global presence, improved efficiencies for many businesses, and ultimately being the category leader in independent AI solutions.

What’s next for Altada:

  1. Altada’s global presence has been growing over the last few quarters and will continue to do so in 2022. It is in the process of opening its 11th office in San Francisco and building on its presence in Miami, Delhi, New York, London, and of course its home turf Cork.
  2. The company is doubling down on the financial services sector, with AI driven solutions for ingestion and automation of loan and real estate file processing and deeply analytical decision-making at speed.
  3. Finally, Altada is gearing up for a Series A funding round later this year.

Altada is on a fast-growth trajectory and the Elkstone Team is delighted to have been able to support the team from early-on.

We have an exciting journey ahead with Allan, Niamh and the team at Altada. If you’d like to learn more feel free to get in touch with Kate, kfullen@nullelkstonepartners.com