4 min read

Solving the Intelligence Gap

Forge.AI earns $11M Series A as they bring their solution to market

Artificial intelligence (AI) is arguably one of the most important technologies created in human history, but it’s effectively useless without the data that trains machines to learn. And today 80% of that data is not usable for that training because it is unstructured. This is what we call the “Intelligence Gap.” Today we’re excited to announce our investment and partnership with the team behind Forge.AI who are bridging this gap, making unstructured data intelligible for Machine Learning (ML) and AI.

At The Verge of Intelligence

“If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn, that is worth 10 Microsofts” — Bill Gates

Over the coming decade, ML and AI are expected to proliferate across global industries as a powerful way to create predictive intelligence and action that augments and automates many of the narrow routine tasks humans do today, and in many cases do it better (e.g. ingestion and synthesis of large amounts of data). Moreover, machine driven intelligence is expected to become an increasingly disruptive force impacting every segment and industry of the economy.

When machines can’t read data, it is only actionable at “human speed” from analysts who review, summarize and modify unstructured data. Therefore opportunity is often missed by not being able to capture and synthesize a full corpus of relevant information or by the extraneous latency in human processing. In some circumstances, highly customized machine ingestible information has been available through a limited and labor-intensive coding process that often does not provide sufficient flexibility. But this is not scalable as the volume, velocity, and variety of unstructured data increases exponentially — 90% of the world’s data was generated over just the last two years.

This is where Forge comes in, to automate the heavy lifting of transforming unstructured data into structured data for intelligent machines.

Forge’s cloud-based data service transforms unstructured information into real-time structured streams of information, immediately ingestible by advanced algorithms and machine learning processes.

By constantly monitoring the web of news, blogs, government sites, political sites, corporate and social media sites, the company, in real time, transforms any newly published information into a structured, machine consumable, representation. This transformed representation reflects “the who, the what, the where and the when” in a format ready for use wherever it is needed.

Forge’s goal is to increase a business’s ‘actionable information aperture’ by transforming this ever-growing and changing ocean of unstructured data into machine-useable, well-structured streams of information that can power real-time decision making, predictive analytics, and pre-emptive decision making.

While Forge’s solution is applicable horizontally across any vertical where intelligent machines are deployed, the initial market for Forge is in financial services. Potential customers include hedge funds, banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, and other case-specific needs within the vertical. Some of the world’s leading financial institutions are already using Forge’s service to transform large volumes of critical unstructured data directly into quantitative fuel that feeds various algorithmic and predictive analytic use cases such as mining financial statements or news that impacts supply chains.

Why We Invested

Given the scale of the problem Forge addresses and the deep expertise and experience they brought to build this IP, it was an easy investment decision to make as we seeded them in May of last year. And then we saw just how exceptional the team really is as they executed together, leading us to commit to the Series A.

These are the type of founders you’re lucky to back a few times in a career. They’re well seasoned but looking to build their biggest success yet. Coincidently, the company was in part founded from within the Underscore Core Community. When Jennifer Lum (COO), a Core Community member, was joining the opportunity with Jim Crowley (CEO) and Jack Crowley (CTO), we knew the company was swinging for the fences even from the outset. With Jim’s grit and a cannot fail attitude, Jack’s depth of expertise in high-performance computing and AI, and Jen’s smarts as a product strategist, it was obvious we should lead their financing.

To that end, we are excited to announce Underscore VC’s investment in Forge.AI and partnership with Accomplice, Boston Seed Capital, Imagination Capital, and Project 11 Ventures, who also see the enormous potential for the company. We all look forward to supporting the team on this journey.