IPRally, a Finnish startup building a knowledge graph-based patent search engine, has raised €10 million ($10.8 million) in a Series A round of funding.
Founded in 2018, IPRally is one of a number of emerging players looking to infiltrate a billion-dollar intellectual property (IP) management market dominated by incumbents such as Clarivate, Anaqua and Questel. The Helsinki-based startup touts a modern AI-powered alternative to other keyword-based search engines, one that promises to help users search and categorize patents more quickly and accurately — with explainability at its core.
A big selling point is its underlying graph neural network that powers both technical and semantic understanding around patent data, meaning that the user is less reliant on exact keyword matches or technical expertise from an IP specialist. The company says it trained this neural network with data from millions of real patents, teaching it to “think” like that of a real-world patent examiner, but in a fraction of the time. In effect, IPRally doesn’t just read text, it strives to draw relationships between all the words and concepts in patent applications to generate the most relevant results.
Additionally, another major factor at play here is explainability — that is, IPRally allows the user to dive into the processes behind the results to see exactly why the platform has delivered the results it has, and gain a better understanding of any relevant prior art.
The rights stuff
There has been some sustained interest in all manner of technology that promises to modernize IP management, with the likes of SoftBank and Tencent backing IP analytics platform PatSnap to the tune of $300 million back in 2021. And just last week, London-based RightHub raised a hefty $15 million seed round of funding for a holistic platform that connects all the strands and stakeholders involved in the IP management process.
In its short life so far, IPRally has amassed a fairly decent roster of customers, including Nvidia, Dolby and Bentley. And with another €10 million in the bank, co-founder and CEO Sakari Arvela said that they’re looking to extend IPRally’s scope beyond patent search and categorization.
“With this investment, we’re able to expand IPRally towards a more comprehensive patent insights platform that even more organizations can benefit from, without having to rely on multiple systems,” Arvela said in a statement.
IPRally’s latest fundraise, which comes a couple of years after it raised a €2.4 million seed tranche of funding, was led by Endeit Capital, with participation from Join Capital, Spintop Ventures and Icebreaker.vc.