With artificial intelligence becoming a crucial part of so many aspects of our daily lives, it’s now also factoring into the manner in which engineers use this technology. Startup tech firm Tara.ai has recently created a platform that relies on machine learning to aid in the completion of an organizations engineering projects by performing tasks such as essential work identification and prediction, talent sourcing to ensure efficient operations, and overseeing the progress of the project.
The startup has just raised $10 million in their Series A round. The firm – co-founded by CEO Iba Masood and Syed Ahmed – received funding from an atypical bunch of investors which speaks to the startup’s origins and potential product development in the future. The female-run firm that prioritizes female-founded startups, Aspect Ventures, led Tara.ai’s Series A, with contribution from Slack. Prior investments came from Y Combinator and Moment Ventures who were also involved in the round.
Tara.ai was initially founded as Gradberry thanks to investment from Y Combinator, and their primary aim was to utilize an artificial intelligence platform to assist organization evaluation and engineering sourcing. Masood and Syed (now married) came to the understanding that Gradberry’s engine would be better aimed at overall engineering project assessment; a natural evolution after the team began looking into the engineering challenges and quantifying the issues that really needed solving.
A study that Tara.ai performed on roughly 5,000 projects revealed that around $66 billion were classified as “lost” as a result of projects breaching deadlines, ineffective talent, or simply inadequate project execution.
“We realized that recruiting was actually the final decision you make, not the first, and we wanted to be involved earlier in the decision-making process,” says Masood. “We saw a much bigger opportunity looking not at the people, but the whole project.” This basically means that Tara.ai isn’t only used to figure out the root of the problem or the objectives of the organization; it’s also used to advise on which frameworks should be utilized to sufficiently complete these goals and predict a timeline to fit. It then begins to assess a firm’s staff proficiency to calculate which individuals to source from inside the company.