Cerebri AI raises $5M Series A round led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund

M12, Microsoft’s venture fund which was previously known as Microsoft Ventures, has been making a series of investments in the last few weeks. Today, it’s leading a $5 million Series A round into Cerebri AI, a startup that uses machine learning to help companies track, analyze and predict their customers’ behavior.

The University of Texas Horizon Fund, WorldQuant Ventures and Leawood Venture Capital also participated in this round for the Austin-based startup, which brings Cerebri’s total funding to date to $10 million. The company plans to use the fresh cash to expand its operations.

Microsoft’s involvement here is maybe no major surprise, given the company’s interest in machine learning and that the Cerebri platform sits on top of Microsoft Azure.

“Cerebri has created a product that is fundamentally changing how customer-facing sales and success professionals can analyze the customer journey,”  said Elliott Robinson, a partner at M12. “By enabling companies to follow an individual customer across the various touchpoints within the enterprise, Cerebri has proven they’re able to improve customer experiences and generate revenue lift.”

In addition to today’s funding announcement, Cerebri also today officially launched its Cerebri Values product, which it describes as “this industry’s first universal measure of customer success.” The idea here is to quantify a customer’s commitment to a brand or product and then predict the “next best action” for each of these customers to seal the deal. Like similar products, Cerebri Values also allows marketers to create cohorts of similar customers for marketing campaigns. The focus here is on grouping customers by behavior, not demographics, which is a bit different from how similar tools often work.

To do all of this, Cerebri allows its users to combine data from a variety of sources and then uses its machine learning models to predict what will work best for this customer. In an age where customers are increasingly wary of companies that harvest their data, all of this may sound a bit dystopian. Cerebri says it has already ingested more than two billion customer touchpoints and events across 12 million consumers and that all of this data sits securely behind its corporate firewall, “ensuring the highest level of security and safeguarding personally identifiable information.”

We asked the company whether consumers can access this data or opt out of being tracked and have not received an answer yet, but it looks like the company’s privacy policy argues that it’s up to its corporate customers to comply with local laws, including the likes of the European Union’s GDPR. (Update: And here is the official answer: “Cerebri Values has these capabilities and can comply with any request direct from its business customers to provide both opt-out as well as deliver personal data. Cerebri AI does not directly hold customer data, as it provides a SaaS-based platform that sits behind its customers’ corporate firewalls.”)