Innovative Kiwi tech start-up with global goals

30 November 2017

In the past six months Vodafone xone innovator Thematic, has gone from a small Kiwi start-up to a million dollar business with well known clients - and it's growing fast. 

Thematic, a global SaaS company, was one of ten top Kiwi innovators awarded entry to start-up accelerator and innovation lab, Vodafone xone, to power their clever inventions to the next level.

The successful start-ups all work in areas that are revolutionising the way we live, through the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, drones, and artificial intelligence.

Thematic is using cutting-edge AI technology to analyse customer feedback, detecting emerging themes to inform businesses on how to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

The product takes raw customer survey responses and creates an interactive report which includes key driver analysis, customer segment comparisons and impact analysis using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning algorithms. The solution turns free text comments into  easy-to-use actionable interactive reports, allowing businesses to gain deep insights into their customers’ wants and needs.

Thematic CEO and co-founder Dr Alyona Medelyan said it's now vital work. 

"Our mission is to empower brands to understand and delight their customers through deep insights. It has been an incredible journey so far and we're only getting started” Alyona said.

Thematic today announced they have raised USD $1,220,000 (NZD $1,750,000) in seed funding led by AirTree Ventures. Other investors include the accelerator programme YCombinator, Rowan Simpson, Chad Byers and other angel investors based in San Francisco.

The investment marks a new chapter for the company. Thematic already has big-name customers in six countries, including Vodafone, Air New Zealand, Stripe, Ableton and Manpower Group. The aim is to grow the business further globally. The business is investing in new engineering, sales and marketing staff to fuel its growth. The next step is to set up a US office and hire its first salespeople.

"Our technology helps businesses to understand what their customers are saying at scale.  It’s one thing to collect an NPS score, it’s a whole different ball game to deeply understand the specific issues and themes driving that score. Ignoring written customer feedback because there is too much of it to process is a huge missed opportunity. The customers are telling companies what's wrong and what they actually want - but nobody is listening," Alyona said.   

 Many companies today still use outdated technology or manual labour to understand what their customers are saying, but Thematic believes using Thematic’s advanced AI to understand natural language is more efficient and appropriate for providing the deep understanding that clients need.

"A key benefit for clients is that they can view their results through an interactive interface, which highlights key themes in customer comments, explaining what drives customer satisfaction and how they can improve their customer loyalty," Alyona added. 

Earlier this year, Thematic completed YCombinator, the most exclusive start-up accelerator in the world, which has produced the likes of AirBnB and Dropbox.

About Thematic

Thematic’s founders are a husband and wife team, Alyona Medelyan and Nathan Holmberg. Alyona has a PhD in Computer Science from Waikato University and has worked with companies like Google, Microsoft and Cisco. Nathan was previously Chief Architect at Serato, a leading software solution for DJs with millions of paid users.  

Thematic allows businesses to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, through analysing customer feedback using world-class AI algorithms. Thematic has big-name customers in 6 countries including Vodafone, Air New Zealand, Stripe, Ableton and Manpower Group.

About AirTree Ventures:

AirTree Ventures is an early and growth stage venture firm backing world-class entrepreneurs. AirTree is focused on backing great founders working in cloud, fintech, intelligent software, consumer, infrastructure, SaaS and data. Over the past 2 decades the team has backed 42 companies including investments in market leaders such as Canva, Prospa, 90Seconds and Paxata. AirTree is a business made up of entrepreneurs, who have themselves started companies and run large global businesses, and is the only Australian venture firm with a globally top decile track record.

Innovative Kiwi tech start-up with global goals