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Building an Artificial Intelligence Software Company from Dallas: Dave Copps, CEO of Brainspace (Part 6)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 2nd 2016

Sramana Mitra: Where are you now?

Dave Copps: We are growing rapidly. In 2015, we grew 300%. I think it was our breakout year. We are already seeing that growth continue into this quarter.

Sramana Mitra: What kind of range are we talking? Is this now a $10 million company or a $20 million company?

Dave Copps: We’re not a startup anymore. I would call us an adolescent company that’s making multiple millions and growing very quickly. You were asking where we are. There are challenges as an entrepreneur as you reach different levels. When you reach a certain level, you have to change the structure of your company and business model a little bit to get to that next level. We’re at that point now. We are opening up new channels into the market.

Sramana Mitra: So you’re a $5 million to $10 million company?

Dave Copps: Sure.

Sramana Mitra: That’s a point where definitely there are some structural changes happening in terms of scaling, and your channels is one of the big ones. Do you sell direct or do you sell through the consulting firms? How do you go to market?

Dave Copps: Through channels. We have hundreds of companies using our technology, but we approach this company through our channels. For instance, we power patent search at Lexis, which has hundreds of clients. Deloitte is one of our clients and they have hundreds of clients. We’re now a standard part of their platform. Most of our clients are through channels.

Sramana Mitra: Great. In terms of financing, you’re all set. You said you raised a small amount of money in three rounds. That could have been one round but that’s about all the money you’ve raised so far.

Dave Copps: The first two rounds were small. It was less than $3 million. Two years ago, I did $10 million with Medina Capital.

Sramana Mitra: Oh, so Medina Capital was $10 million. That’s a fair amount of money. That’s not small money.

Dave Copps: We were the third investment. The use of that money was for growing the team. By the time Medina had come on board, we knew that we had a very good technology. We had some of the biggest clients in the world standardizing on us. We wanted to grow the team and not have everybody wear so many hats. Before Medina, we had 12 employees. Everybody wore five hats. I ended up doing one more round. It’s significant. We see this right now as an opportunity that we need to seize.

I think we’re heading into a little bit of a perfect storm in a good way. The three things are really coming together right now. The technology is very powerful and it’s working. We know that’s validated because we have several of our biggest clients re-buying. My team is the best I’ve ever had. I think we’ve finally got to a point where there’s a jelling happening. Also, AI machine learning  is exploding right now. I think we’re really in a great position. When I look at all the big companies that are still relying on static human ontologies and lexicons, it’s really opening some eyes. We’re seeing dramatic growth and interest in our company. My VP Sales says that the phone is ringing. He knows as well as anybody that’s a great time. That great time started last year.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Building an Artificial Intelligence Software Company from Dallas: Dave Copps, CEO of Brainspace
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