May 17, 2023: Threes company

The first-of-its-kind intelligent content platform, more deals to unpack, the benefits of working with family, and more

Profile: Kevin Collins and Charli AI

What is Charli AI?

Founded in 2018, Charli AI is a first-of-its-kind intelligent content platform that supercharges workflows in every part of an organization. Its cutting-edge Generative AI platform Ancaeus has the game-changing ability to deliver scalable, enterprise-wide applications for AI - an elusive option for businesses until now.

At the core of the Chari AI solution, the Ancaeus platform is a sophisticated “network of ensembles'' orchestrated to perform advanced tasks “right out of the box”, eliminating the vast amount of training required for bespoke machine learning models. Ancaeus was developed by Charli’s tech powerhouse team of Ph.D. scientists and data science engineers who push the boundaries of innovation every day.

The company is already creating a huge buzz within the Financial Services industry with its ability to accelerate growth, dramatically reduce costs and streamline operations. Employees are happier and have more time for value-added contributions. Customers are realizing cost savings of up to 70% and seeing over 90% improvement in research project turnaround time.

Charli AI not only improves efficiencies, but also features a sophisticated human-to-AI interface, transparency, and proven accuracy. The ease with which it can be deployed allows companies that previously couldn’t access AI, to now realize its many benefits - essentially democratizing AI. Charli’s main product offerings are Charli Research and Charli Automation, and both are unlike anything on the market to date.

What was the insight/inspiration that led to its launch?

In an environment where AI has gone mainstream and reached mass adoption, Charli AI has embarked on a mission to tackle the most difficult challenges in the very regulated space of financial services. Enterprise leaders are facing unprecedented labor shortages while at the same time needing to decrease costs and deliver higher-value offerings and are turning to technology to remain competitive.

Charli AI’s mission is to supercharge workforce decision-making. We want employees to focus on adding value, not on time-consuming ‘administrivia’.

How has it been received by the market? Why do you think it has been so well received?

The response from the financial services industry (our core audience) has been exceptional. Clients are realizing Charli’s ability to accelerate growth, dramatically reduce costs and streamline operations. Employees are happier, making better decisions and businesses are realizing a cost savings of up to 70%.

Charli AI is unlike other AI offerings as it operates cross-functionally across the enterprise, bringing advanced efficiencies to daily business functions.

Charli AI was founded on the belief that human interaction is critical to building trust and interacting with the AI as it constantly learns and automates with the needs of the workforce.

How did the Founding team meet?

Charli AI’s team is composed of industry veterans with prior successful startup exits. After the acquisition of Bit Stew Systems by GE Digital in 2016, which Kevin Collins co-founded, the same team decided to start Charli AI to build a company that truly builds a thinking machine able to manage the most complex repetitive tasks in the enterprise. Charli AI’s team is unique with 90% of employees based in Vancouver, BC, and strong female representation on our leadership team.

Our Chief Scientist, Elham Alipour, is a well-known and respected leader in the technology space. Our team is highly diversified with representation from all the continents.

What has been the hardest thing on your journey so far?

Bridging the gap between 'visionary founder' and 'chief coder'. I'm a hands-on CEO and love to be directly involved in building the business - I code, I'm an engineer, I'm involved in sales, and I conceptualized the brand. And I lead the business strategy, build relationships with investors and clients as well as aim to cultivate a corporate culture that allows us to attract the best and the brightest. Trying to straddle both of these roles is always my ongoing challenge.

What has been the most pleasant surprise?

Experiencing the Silicon Valley mentality that the "Fear of Missing Out" is stronger than the "Fear of Failure". I lived through the dot com bust, but even that experience didn't change this shared attitude. If I hadn't had the opportunity to encounter this mindset and embrace it, my career may have looked very different. Being immersed in this culture allowed me to innovate with Bit Stew and now Charli AI.

What is your super strength?


Whether it's technology, business, home repairs, car repairs, you name it, if there is a problem, I will learn everything I can on the topic and figure out how to fix it. Bit Stew was solving an integration problem we saw in the industry. Charli AI is solving the problem that enterprises face: unprecedented labor shortages while needing to decrease costs and deliver higher-value offerings. Charli allows employees to focus on adding value, not on time-consuming ‘administrivia’. Our clients are realizing Charli’s ability to accelerate growth, dramatically reduce costs and streamline operations. Employees are happier, making better decisions and businesses are realizing a cost savings of up to 70%.

Who is the unsung hero on the team? Why?

Joel Emery, Chief Product Officer, and Elham Alipour, Chief Scientist.

Joel is one of the first employees of the company and it quickly became clear that his mindset and work ethic was that of a founder, an innovator, and a driver of the product to create the CEO's vision. Elham's data science skills are world-class and she has an exceptional ability to connect science with the business and communicate complex information in a clear and understandable way.

What are you trying to achieve over the next 12 months?

To be the leading provider to the financial services industry of our state-of-the-art AI platform that is designed for cross-functional use across an enterprise. Our Ancaeus platform can discover, understand, and use facts extracted from millions of pieces of content to generate insights, spreadsheets, presentations, and well-written natural language reports that can be circulated, reviewed, and integrated with third-party applications.

What advice do you wish you had been given prior to launching?

In hindsight, we would have spent more time understanding the user psychology in the enterprise regarding mass AI adoption.

Who are the 5 Canadian startups you like in your market?

CoPilot AI - helping you reach your target audience through unique and sophisticated outreach

Sanctuary AI - The world's first humanoid general-purpose robot powered by Carbon™, our pioneering AI control system, and designed for work.

Variational AI - AI for drug discovery

Element AI - reinforced data governance that empowers the public

Boast AI - helping you get larger returns faster with less work

Learn more about Kevin and Charli AI Inc. here

Quick Takes: Good things come in threes?

We review three acquisitions and their significance for Canadian Tech:

What's the latest news?

This week, several acquisitions were announced, let's dive into the significance of these:

Deal 1: Crosspoint Capital Partners is taking Vancouver-based Absolute Software private in a deal worth $870 million USD in enterprise value.

What makes this deal interesting?

While this appears to be a conventional private equity acquisition, with the company valued at twice its worth from five years ago but below its peak during the COVID-19 pandemic, what stands out is the limited information available. No announcements have been made regarding any consolidation efforts or cost-saving measures. The acquisition has been relatively quiet.

Deal 2: Edtech company D2L has announced its acquisition of Connected Shopping, a company it had previously partnered with in business.

What makes this interesting?

For D2L, one of the acquirers, this move is aimed at scaling their business. It represents an effort to expand their product offerings and diversify their revenue streams.

Deal 3: Vancouver startup GeoComply has agreed to acquire OneComply.

Why is this intriguing?

With this acquisition, GeoComply is expanding its product range. GeoComply specializes in compliance and cybersecurity, while OneComply assists sports betting companies in centralizing their data. GeoComply intends to adapt this technology for its own client base.

Additionally, GeoComply has secured funding from private equity firms at a valuation exceeding $1 billion. This financial position may enable them to pursue further acquisitions within the industry.

Quick Takes returns with a new episode on May 18 - streaming live across the TechTO socials at 1pm ET / 10am PT

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Are you a Founder? McMillan wants to hook you up with some exciting give aways. Fill out this survey to learn more and share your story

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TechTO Talent

Why is this cool? Charli AI is an AI-driven intelligent content insight platform that tracks, organizes, understands, interprets, analyzes and automates business content enterprise-wide, unlocking knowledge, improving collaboration across teams, and streamlining operations. They are seeking a talented Sales Engineer to help fuel their next stage of growth.

Why is this cool? Deep Genomics is a startup company that aims to revolutionize drug development by leveraging expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) to decode RNA biology. In this role, you will be responsible for designing, developing, and deploying machine learning models as well as the software infrastructure for rapid and reproducible model development.

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