Tuesday, August 14

Vision Critical acqui-hires Vancouver AI startup’s team

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Market research tech firm Vision Critical is acquiring “certain assets” of Aida Software, a startup with AI expertise in customer experience and support applications. Financial details are not disclosed.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development and integration of CRIS, or Customer Relationship Intelligence Science, which are machine learning and AI-based applications for Vision’s platform Sparq 3.

As part of the acquisition, the entire Aida data science team joins Vision Critical, including Jenny Yang, who will lead data science initiatives.

Among her roles in the telecoms sector, consulting firms and in founding tech firms, she also led BDC Venture Capital’s investments in early-stage tech companies.

In the financial services sector, Vision Critical has signed up insurance providers like Prudential Singapore (S$31.5bn/USD$23.9bn AuM at end 2016) and Sun Life Financial ($975 billion AuM at end 2017).

In Prudential’s case, one of the success metrics reported by Vision is a 308% jump in yearly revenue in one of its retirement plans. For Sun Life, 98% of reps felt that sales material outdid competitors, and there was a 15% increase in broker satisfaction when marketing its “stop-loss” product, a type of insurance for companies that self-fund their medical plans.

Recent leadership changes at Vision Critical have ended up with the founder Andrew Reid leaving the firm to start another venture, VC Labs, while his father, former chair exec and a well-known pollster in Canada, sold off his entire stake for a reported $44 million last year.

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