(Editor's Note: this is an article from Crunchbase News by Christine Hall, syndicated with permission as part of a new content and data partnership.)
Enterprise software firm Peak received a $12 million extended Series A investment to help businesses that want to become artificial intelligence (AI)-driven.
Existing investors MMC Ventures and Praetura Ventures led the funding round for the United Kingdom-based company founded in 2015. Peak’s original Series A was in September 2017 when it raised about $3.3 million, according to Crunchbase data.
This latest funding brings Peak’s total amount raised to $18.5 million, according to the company.
Peak will use the new capital to support its rapid growth and commercial expansion, and to ramp up investment in research and development.
“We’ve got a really strong viewpoint on the market. We know what we want our product to do, but there is so much more we want to do, so we want to do more long-term research,” said Richard Potter, co-founder and CEO of Peak.
Plans also include establishing a North American headquarters in Philadelphia, which Peak was in the process of doing prior to the travel ban associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Potter said.
“We are ready to jump as soon as the travel ban is lifted,” he added.
Rolling out AI
Peak’s goal is to enable mass adoption of AI solutions across industries, including retail, consumer packaged goods, direct-to-consumer, construction and manufacturing companies. Spending on AI systems is expected to reach $97.9 billion in 2023, according to market research firm IDC.
“AI systems are the most important new category in the world,” Potter said. “We think we are creating this category and hope to be the global market leader.”
The company’s full-stack AI system combines infrastructure, data processing, AI workflow and applications into one software-as-a-service product, Potter said.
This enables Peak to deliver AI in just one software application and reduces the need for teams of in-house data scientists, engineers and operators, he said. Companies adopting Peak can also become AI-driven in a matter of weeks, not years.
“You can go from AI zero to hero right away and rapidly get to the front of the race while not having to make investments in multiple tech products and teams,” Potter said.
‘Positive early signs’
Peak’s customers include PepsiCo and ASOS, as well as U.K.-based online fashion retailer boohoo Group.
Ryan Short, boohoo’s head of business transformation, said in a written statement that the company focuses on trend-led fashion, so it needed to be at a pace to meet customer expectations.
“We partnered with Peak to explore the opportunities of developing and implementing an AI strategy to further enhance our competitive advantage in this fast-paced market,” Short wrote. “We are already seeing positive early signs from deploying AI in our merchandising team and have plans to utilize AI across other areas of the business to drive greater efficiencies and ultimately give our customers the best experience.”
Meanwhile, Peak is poised for continued growth. As of the first quarter of 2020, the company grew 140 percent over the same quarter in 2019, Potter said.
The company also plans to continue growing its current 120-person employee base, which is spread across the United Kingdom and India. Potter said Peak doubled its headcount in 2019.
“We have strong margins and are bucking the trend to prove, with scale, that you can be a true SaaS company,” he said.
Photo caption: Peak founders, from left, David Leitch, CIO; Richard Potter, CEO; and Atul Sharma, CTO.
Photo courtesy of Peak