Aito, a Helsinki-based AI startup, has raised €1.6 million from B2B software investor henQ. The Finnish AI company has developed its own “Predicitive Database,” which combines machine learning and database into a single platform, with the goal of making AI accessible and effective for companies of any budget.

Unique from other machine-learning tools (ML) on the market, which create numerous models to predict one thing, Aito’s platform is one model that can predict several things. The “Predictive Database” uses existing relational datasets and a familiar query language to make ad-hoc predictions. So developers can get various predictions without further data wrangling, feature engineering, understanding the intrinsics of ML models, or hiring expensive data scientists.

“Every company should be able to start experimenting with real data and real users without high barriers – to learn and concretely see how machine learning can bring value. Without the need to learn a new skill set or to hire new people. And above all: without the need to be heads down for months and release something that is not working. We believe in lean and agile: experiment, test, improve. That is the development cycle that works and that we now bring to your AI project,” said CEO Vesa-Pekka Grönfors.

Quick AI-driven predictions allow software engineers to explore more ideas, which they can then validate, build, and launch. In fact, anyone can upload a dataset to the public version of Aito’s database and start experimenting. The company admits users should have a basic knowledge of SQL, but otherwise no expertise needed.

Commenting on the decision to invest, Jelmer de Jong, Partner at henQ, explained: “We’ve seen a lot of failing AI startups and projects, and the biggest reason for failure is lack of skilled people, and month-, if not year-long research projects instead of rapid validation. The market was missing the tools that enable you to quickly experiment and prototype your hypothesis: enter Aito.”

He continued, “What really spoke for Aito is how they ensured that ML is actually easy to apply, and fit for purpose. Truly bringing a benefit, at a low cost.” 

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