There is little argument that Artificial Intelligence is the future of tech. One of the biggest problems currently holding back the technology though is the difficulty of recruiting manpower that is capable of creating such projects. That is where Israeli startup Pecan AI comes in with its business-ready predictive analytics platform that provides both commercial analysts and business stakeholders with the power of predictive AI. Pecan announced on Wednesday that it has completed a $35 million series B funding round led by global investor GGV Capital, with participation from Vintage as well as existing investors Dell Technologies Capital, S-Capital, and Mindset. This round brings the company’s total financing to more than $50 million and will allow Pecan to expand its operations globally and continue to help organizations accelerate the adoption of AI and advanced analytics. GGV's portfolio includes the likes of Square, Slack, Peloton, Alibaba, Airbnb, and many others.
Pecan was founded in 2018 by Noam Brezis and Zohar Bronfman, who met during their Ph.D. studies in computational neuroscience at Tel Aviv University. Both are also alumni of Unit 8200, the Israeli military's equivalent of the NSA.
"We are building the Wix of AI, providing models of artificial intelligence," CEO Bronfman told Calcalist. "We have grown significantly over the past year. We had 30 employees one year ago and now we have 50, and we want to recruit another 50. Wix lowered the bar and simplified website building and our tool can do the same for AI. Companies can't afford to recruit data scientists and we allow Business Intelligence experts to do the work of data scientists. We have users who are analysts and within a single day they built models of consumer behavior that would have taken them months to do previously."
"Everything changed in our world following Covid-19," added Bronfman. "People are shopping differently, consuming differently and if you don't have AI you won't be able to recognize the changes. We are seeing huge changes that can only be identified through AI tools."
The business world knows that AI will somehow power the next revolution in analytics. But scalable rollouts of AI have been slow, and there is a gap estimated in the dozens of billions of dollars between the potential of AI and businesses’ ability to implement and deploy complex models. Current solutions are time-intensive and costly, and eerily reminiscent of the ivory tower IT-based analytics before business intelligence (BI) became widespread. Pecan democratizes data science and AI by putting the power of predictive modeling in the hands of business analysts, with a platform that models its straightforwardness after classic BI as well.
“As AI becomes a critical tool for businesses to understand what the future holds, we see outsized potential for a tool like Pecan to democratize data science and bring the power of AI to business users and data analysts,” said Oren Yunger, Investor at GGV Capital and new board member for Pecan.