• Slovakian startup CulturePulse secures almost $1 million in seed funding from Zero Gravity Capital to transform its AI marketplace into a product-based SaaS model.
• CulturePulse’ AI-based platform enables users to create a psychologically accurate digital twin of their audience, allowing them to validate messages and minimize the risk of negative reactions and miscommunications.
• The startup plans to use its seed funding to acquire new B2B customers and expand its team to bolster sales efforts and venture to new markets
The platform models belief systems that drive human behaviors and quantifies anger, anxiety, personality, morality, family, friends, finances, inclusivity, racism, hate speech, and plenty of other cultural categories.
“Essentially unless your brand is negative and emotional, the existing algorithms on social media are actually changing your brand voice and its perception whether you like it or not. With CulturePulse, you are able to communicate with your audience directly – and not with the algorithm and we’ll give you a resonance score for every content piece,” CulturePulse’s CEO Justin Lane tells The Recursive.
With this latest funding, CulturePulse aims to evolve from a project-based business model to a product-based AI SaaS venture, looking to add 1,000 new premium users and 4-5 enterprise users by the end of 2023.
“While most technologies on the market can only function in a small handful of languages, CulturePulse is unique as it works across 100+languages, covering 99% of digital texts without the need for historical data and training, and models the belief systems that drive human behaviors, versus other products, which only provide sentiment and engagement analysis,” he adds.
Prior to the commercial launch, CulturePulse’s AI technology was successfully used in numerous research projects such as The Forgiveness Project with the Woolf Institute, where research used highly advanced Multi-agent Artificial Intelligence (MAAI) to simulate and analyze social conditions in Northern Ireland by distilling over 50 million articles from the largest database of human society ever created (GDelt) into 80 aspects of culture, psychology, and morality underpinning the NI conflict.
“It would have taken us over two years and £250K to complete this research the old way. Using CulturePulse AI to provide us the analysis and cope with huge amounts of categories and data, allowed us to do it in weeks, at a fraction of the cost,” Katherine O’Lone, research fellow at the Woolf Institute, says about using the platform.
Aiming to build the “ultimate” AI platform
The market size of AI is gaining momentum with Precedence Research evaluating the AI software market at 138 billion dollars in 2022 and according to Semrush, the forecasted annual growth rate of AI between 2020 and 2027 is 33.2%.
Lane and the CulturePulse team now look to create “the only AI platform in the world that can be used globally by businesses across every industry, geography, and for every channel imaginable.”
“We raised just under a million from Zero Gravity Capital in our seed round and we used this investment to introduce more developers to enhance the platform so users will be able to self-service all their AI needs easily and interpret the data themselves. We’ve just announced a Series A funding round now and we hope to raise a minimum of $2 million which we will use to acquire new B2B customers which will include small businesses and individual users such as the digital nomad communities, as well as large scale organizations with a fully customizable product offering, to meet their unique needs and requirements,” Lane tells The Recursive.
For Slovakia-based Zero Gravity Capital, CulturePulse’s approach opens up lucrative commercial opportunities for their clients.
“Such are, for example, publicly available or internal data, and social media, the subtext of which can be analyzed using advanced algorithms, thanks to which the project falls into the segment of deep technologies,” Vit Hanus, partner of Zero Gravity Capital, says.
The mix of experiences and different backgrounds was what attracted the Slovakian VC fund to invest in the startup, as seen through the experience of its three notable co-founders, doctors of philosophy Justin Lane and LeRon Shuls, together with product manager Maja Roknic, who joined the team as a CPO.
They quickly began collaborating on many projects together all over the world, including working on over 40 grants, papers, conference presentations, and lectures on topics ranging from AI ethics to theology and sustainability.
“We mainly invest in a high-quality team. This time, the mix of experiences from business, academic, technical, or innovative environments was interesting for us, as well as the founders international presence and focus on international markets. It’s a strong combination to achieve the company’s goals,” Hanus concludes.