Cognitive Match pulls in $2.5m for realtime content-matching

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Everyone knows “realtime” has been a hot tech category for the last year or so but as we all know the ‘realtime problem’ is getting some kind of intelligence out of that firehose, and, crucially, eventually working out if or how it can be monetised. Search found its way with keyword targeting, but what will happen around realtime?

The Cognitive Match startup is applying artificial intelligence, learning mathematics, psychology and semantic technologies to match content (product, offers, or editorial) to realtime content. It’s doing this in part by relying on an academic panel of professors in artificial intelligence from Universities across the UK and Europe who specialise in machine learning and psychology. The idea is to ensure maximum response from individuals, thereby increasing conversion, revenue and ultimately profit.

Last year it raised a Series A investment from Dawn Capital, rumoured to be in the $1m+ ballpark. Today Dawn has stepped in again with a follow-on Series B investment of $2.5m which the company will use to accelerate its growth. That takes it’s war-chest to around $3.5m

Cognitive Match uses similar mathematics to Wonga (which Dawn has also invested in). The idea is to replace the “2.0” content matching approach of “People who bought this also bought that” with “We believe this is what you are looking for”. It’s effectively a B2B model with companies such as Yahoo, Sporting Index and some clients descibed as “blue chip” using its technology. Chad Raube, partner at Dawn says the science behind Cognitive Match’s product is “scalable and dramatically improves the response rates.”

Founder CEO Alex Kelleher previously co-founded analytics and data mining company Touch Clarity (which sold in 2007 to Omniture), and prior to that was Founder CEO of London-based web agency Vivid Edge (sold in 2000 to Framfab). Advisors include serial entrepreneur Esther Dyson, and i-Level co-founder Andrew Walsmsley.

  • Todd

    Interesting. But I think they chose the wrong disciplines. FAQs says they are using “psychology and artificial intelligence”.

    They should be applying sociology.

    • igniman

      they should be applying some math.

      btw, this seems like a money borrowing service. do they relate?

      • AbelSet

        they are using a lot of math…
        They are doing some very fast ‘learning’ MVT. As is Wonga – this is the connection

  • bruce wayne

    Since most of the data on the internet and in the systems that use Cognitive Match is unstructured and therefore virtually meaningless to computers; how is it that Cognitive Match is finding a way to show information and products that are related to anything ?

    There are somethings that can be done with math, but all of these have very limited capability.

    I think that its time to break the illusion that there is a silver bullet to A.I. and Semantic solutions that does not include a bottom up approach.

    Many phd’s have been working on this issue for years and today we are still spending countless millions chasing the ghost of top down A.I.

    • Alex Lebrun

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Using “a lot of maths” doesn’t mean you get something at the end of the day !

      This idea of matching content (here I think the “real time” tag was just a buzzword in order to double the company valuation :)) to offers is not new. Nor are the techniques that different startups have tried (without success so far).

      The problem is: all so-called AI technologies rely on words. I don’t see how a system, whatever the amount of “math” and “psychology” it uses, can “experience” the meaning of a word today.

  • Rashid Mahmood

    These are some rock bottom prices and your math is wrong on revs, even likely as parked pages..Have you seen what some names have sold for over the last 5 years
    And if you only consider one worders valuable, then the lack of inventory there shows that those assets are priceless and people won’t sell them so they won’t even come to market..

  • Niklas Lohmann

    I think you should check out adaptlogic, a spin-out of phd research at KTH Stockholm.

    Been up and running since 2001 (!)

    Stunning rock solid results on big traffic sites. Use a blend of peer group, contextual… They are fact-based and tried and tested.

  • Article Playground

    Good idea for a site like that

  • Phil

    “[…] but as we all know the ‘realtime problem’ is getting some kind of intelligence out of that firehose […]”

    To use an old, old computer term: GIGO

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