Microsoft partner Hyper Anna secures $1.25 million in VC funding

Microsoft partner Hyper Anna secures $1.25 million in VC funding

Westpac and AirTree invest in data analytics solution running on Azure

Hyper Anna founders Sam Zheng, Kent Tian and Natalie Nguyen

Hyper Anna founders Sam Zheng, Kent Tian and Natalie Nguyen

Sydney-based startup, Hyper Anna, has secured $1.25 million in venture capital funding from Westpac’s venture capital arm, Reinventure, and AirTree Ventures.

The product is slated for release in early 2017, and lets users ask natural language questions of data using voice, text, or email. The company said its tool can be used to review existing data collections and to provide predictive insights without the need for a data scientist.

The investment will support the next stage of development of the company’s natural language driven data analytics solution, and help fund a US launch in 2017.

The company was founded by three data scientists, Natalie Nguyen, Sam Zheng, and Kent Tian, who developed developed a machine intelligence layer running on Microsoft Azure which allows interaction with any collection of data from any device.

The solution is based on an algorithm developed by Hyper Anna which also leverages Microsoft’s machine learning. It will run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud or on-premise, and the company is working on leveraging solutions from other cloud providers.

The company said that data collections held in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications such as Salesforce and Google Analytics can be accessed using APIs, and other data required can be loaded to the system for interrogation on an 'as-needs' basis.

Hyper Anna co founder, Natalie Nguyen, said the company’s vision is for people to be able to interact with big data by asking questions in plain English about key drivers of the business, and having a cloud-based solution is key to achieving this outcome.

“We help smaller business to have affordable access to insights from big data sources through the current data commercialisation trend. For example: if Qantas wants to commercialise their frequent flyer data through Hyper Anna, smaller Australian business can get access to customer shopping behaviour easily and at an affordable cost,” told ARN.

“The brain of Anna constantly needs to reap feeds of data so it gets smarter – so having a central place for the brain to sit is extremely important and also helps with deployment time. We deploy literally within a day with Azure.”

“The Hyper Anna team have built a product which can bring customised analytics services to the large, under-served market of corporate employees and small businesses,” said Reinventure co-founder and managing director, Danny Gilligan. “Great productivity gains will be possible when front line decision makers have the customised insights they need delivered to them in real time.

“One of the cool things about Hyper Anna is it demonstrates the growing maturity of the data value chain, where two clever ex Quantium data scientists can build a new company to serve specific problems better than anyone else,” he added.

AirTree Ventures partner, John Henderson, described Hyper Anna’s founders as an “exceptional group,” who had deep technical knowledge in solving meaningful problems.

“Businesses are yearning for easy to use data analytics and visualisation tools. Anna is delivering them already, and will only get smarter over time," he said.

Nguyen added that the investment from Reinventure and AirTree was important to support the growth ambitions of the company, but also signalled more widely the potential of the technology.

The solution is charged on a per-user per-month basis and Hyper Anna is currently working with insurer, IAG, and has a project is underway with Westpac.

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Tags MicrosoftWestpacazureReinventure GroupHyper AnnaAirTree

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