Singapore-based Nugit promises analysts 50-80% less time spent “extracting, cleaning and combining” data when using its artificial intelligence-enhanced reports
The Singapore-based Nugit (a play on “nuggets,” of data) announced on Thursday that it raised $5.2 million from Sequoia India, with the goal of doubling its staff and expanding its client base in the near future for a market that will be worth over $185 billion in 2017. This is their first public round of financing, though they raised an undisclosed seed round in March 2015.
Nugit’s core services center around its work in “natural language generation” (NLG), an artificial intelligence process first developed in the 1990s to automate weather forecasts. NLG works differently from other types of machine learning linguistics because, “NLG systems start with a set of ideas locked in data and turn them into into language that, in turn, communicates them.”
The goal of this interactive information access is to draw out trends and patterns for reports quickly and clearly, using preprogrammed conditional prompts to review large data sets. Marketing and advertising companies, for instance, want to collect data that can compare data on campaign spending, sales, and reach. Automating this process makes it possible to compare relative costs and identify which advertisements gave the most bang for their buck, and then say as much without the need of a human writer to type those words out in a report.
The first NLGs were simple “chatterbots.” These older systems were not very adaptable in this regard, while more modern systems possess semantic engines that can, say, determine when aberrant data is worth reporting to the client because it already recognizes what the “average” result is and that atypical results should be singled out against the standard model.
It is now increasingly applied to other data-intensive fields, such as the processing of medical and financial information, or website performance figures. For end users who read the reports composed of the selected data, the process is a major time- and labor-saver since. In Nugit’s case, it also formats the results using visual aids.
Nugit’s top analytics clients include Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, and Startcom. It also supports analytical platforms out of Google, Baidu, Abode, and Twitter.
The Nugit funding once more reaffirms Sequoia’s focus on e-commerce and ICT. Sequoia India has been active in the country since 2006 and earlier this year closed a $920 million fund, the largest VC investment there to date. According to dealstreetasia.com, its extensive investment rounds over the past year and a half are part of a strategy to make up for lost time in the Indian start-up sector.
CEO David Sanderson founded Nugit in 2013. It currently employs more than 27 data scientists and engineers, among other workers.