Node snags two top AI researchers to advance AI-fueled search tool

Node, an AI-driven search tool designed to surface the information that matters most to you, announced today that it was bringing on a couple of AI research heavy hitters. It also announced $5 million in additional funding.

For starters, the company hired Louis Monier, one of the founders of early internet search engine, Alta Vista, and most recently the Head of the AI Lab at Airbnb. Monier will join the startup as Chief Scientist.

The company also brought on Jeffrey Johnson as Chief Technology Officer in January. Johnson has almost 20 years of executive experience and has has over three decades of experience working on large-scale artificial intelligence systems, according to the company.

The new money comes from Recruit Strategic Partners (RSP), WndrCo, David Brewer of Aragon Capital (former founder of search engine Inktomi), Linnea Roberts of GingerBread Capital, Falmouth Ventures, and Marc Weiss of Open Field Capital.

Node CEO Falon Fatemi says the new talent isn’t simply for show. The company has brought them onboard to help advance its AI-powered discovery engine, which according to Fatemi, helps surface the relevant people you should be partnering with today.

“Fundamentally what we are talking about when we say we are ushering next generation search is an AI brain that understands the interconnections [between people and things] and surfaces personalized recommendations,” she said.

She says the use case of connecting people you should know is just a starting point for the search engine, but one that’s generated $200 million in revenue. Over time, they want to expand beyond that and use the technology to help discover other relevant data inside an organization and on the web. The two new hires should help.

“We think with this next generation release that’s coming, we will be expanding to allow any organization to leverage Node. [The technology] can be applied in any context in a company,” she said. “It’s a new way of [taking advantage of] AI, and it’s becoming a reality. Leaving opportunities to ad hoc chance is no longer acceptable and we have a great opportunity to be that platform, giving recommendations and helping find opportunities,” Fatemi explained.

The company was founded in 2014 and has raised more than $21 million.