Datch secures $3.2mn to develop AI tech for industry

By William Girling
Tech startup Datch has reportedly secured USD$3.2mn in seed funding to develop its cutting-edge ‘voice-visual’ AI tech for industrial use. Welcomin...

Tech startup Datch has reportedly secured USD$3.2mn in seed funding to develop its cutting-edge ‘voice-visual’ AI tech for industrial use.

Welcoming lead investor Blue Bear Capital, along with Stage Venture Partners, Tuhua Ventures and others, Datch CEO Mark Fosdike expressed his excitement for the opportunity:

"With industry-leading partners on board from the energy and manufacturing sectors and with a focus on digital transformation, we are well-positioned to help improve the way industrial organisations capture worker-based knowledge at the frontlines."

Developing intuitive AI

Originating from a desire to make technology intuitive and interactive, Datch’s Assistant uses voice control to allow the user to ‘converse’ with sites through simple integrations. 

The resultant solution is conversational, portable, easily integrated, fast, more efficient and capable of data capture to enhance decision-making. 

Not only does it make routine checks easier for staff, the Datch Assistant can also increase health and safety standards by reducing the amount of physical exertion/strain on a daily basis for deskless workers.

The US-based Datch was originally founded two years ago in the UK by Fosdike and his collaborators Aric Thorn (COO) and Ben Purcell (CTO).

"We're all engineers with experience working on projects across the globe in the aerospace, shipbuilding, and energy sectors. We formed the business after witnessing the incredible amount of time and energy our companies lost when it came to filling out paperwork on the shop floor," Fosdike added.

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Changing the way industry operates

After identifying the problem from first-hand research, the Datch team set about analysing the problem and developing a tech-based solution.

"We soon realised that [...] only 5% of employee knowledge is retained in a business due to lack of available time, quality factors, and unstructured data collection.”

The Datch Assistant addresses both problems in a single, elegant solution utilising Natural Language Processing (NLP), a form of machine learning, wherein computers ‘learn’ the patterns and rhythm of human speech via text and audio processing.

"What's exciting is that Datch does away with traditional process forms and instead uses a Natural Language Engine to give workers the freedom to conversationally capture their knowledge as soon as it's generated. 

“Our platform lets them do this hands-free during the job without losing valuable tool time, resulting in significant productivity gains. 

“Further to this, there are upstream advantages to capturing and structuring this knowledge data along with the play-by-play data, leading to important breakthroughs in asset-based insights," said Fosdike.

Commenting on the growing precedence of AI-based solutions in modern industry, Ernst Sack and Dr Carolin Funk, Partners at Blue Bear, stated that their company was excited to back Datch’s innovation.

"Voice technology brings wider context and nuance to human and digital connections by improving the quality and experience of work for the frontline and accelerates knowledge capture and sharing for the organization," said Sack.

"We are particularly excited that Datch is bringing voice technologies to customers in important sectors like sustainable power generation and electric vehicle manufacturing,” added Dr Funk.

For more information on energy digital topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Energy Digital Magazine.

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