UK startup NumberEight raises $2.3m seed round from Nauta Capital to predict consumer behaviour
NumberEight, a contextual intelligence platform for mobile devices that predicts consumer context to deliver the right content at the right time, has closed a $2.3 million seed round led by Nauta Capital. The round will support NumberEight’s enhancement of its patent-pending technology, hire new engineering and commercial talent, and accelerate their business growth.
NumberEight leverages advanced context recognition, artificial intelligence, and signal processing techniques to produce over100 contextual insights such as “travelling to work on a bicycle” to provide mobile apps with real-time behavioural and situational consumer insights.
Their online dashboard takes these real-time events, anonymises and correlates them with in-app activity to empower its customers to deliver context-driven, real-time personalised experiences to the user. Incorporated in 2016, the UK-based company was founded on the back of co-founder and CEO Abhishek Sen’s research into signal processing and recommender systems at TU Delft and after working in mobile companies including Apple, Palm, and BlackBerry.
Abhishek said: ”The idea of NumberEight started by asking a simple question: why can’t my sophisticated smartphone automatically recommend music to me based on my current mood and activity? For technology to truly be transformative, machines need to become more like humans, and not vice-versa. As we interact with more devices around us, empowering devices with the cognitive ability to think for themselves, without compromising our privacy, is paramount. This is what contextual intelligence is. It unlocks the ability for companies to deliver hyper-personalised and relevant experiences across all devices.”
Chris Watts, NumberEight’s CTO and co-founder explains: “User privacy was at the heart of our decisions from day one. The common approach of collecting bulk user data for analysis in the cloud introduces difficult consent issues, so instead, we researched new algorithms that allow this advanced technology to work on humble consumer phone hardware. The hard-earned result is a platform where sensor data never leaves the user’s device, and privacy is preserved.''
Context-based personalisation is an emerging concept within mobile computing – driven by the need to have frictionless and tailored interactions with mobile devices on one hand, while on the other anticipating user actions and behaviour when delivering content at an individual level.
NumberEight’s technology can power the entire mobile app ecosystem across various sectors, however, the company is currently focused on the $150B Media and Entertainment market– from music streaming and online radio to mobile gaming and advertising. Furthermore, the cash injection comes as the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in media consumption across all generations as revealed by Global Web Report.
“We are living at a time when simply having access to content is not good enough: there is too much choice! App owners have to decide whether they want their users to mindlessly navigate buttons and menus to access the right content, or, to deliver empathetic and seamless experiences where only the most contextually relevant content is automatically served,” says Abhishek.
As part of the round, Nauta Capital’s General Partner, Carles Ferrer, will join NumberEight’s board. Commenting on the investment, Carles said: “NumberEight’s ability to apply edge AI and mobile sensor data to truly power real-time user context is a highly compelling proposition. Abhishek and Chris have built a best-in-class solution providing powerful consumer insights while putting privacy first. We are thrilled to join the team as they go on to scale their context-as-a service offering.”
“We are very excited to have Nauta Capital lead our investment round and join their impressive portfolio of companies. Their team’s ability to truly grasp the potential of contextual intelligence and its implications for the entire mobile ecosystem has been seriously impressive and we are delighted to have them join our team,” adds Abhishek.