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July 17, 2022

Investment Notes: Voyantis $19m Seed

Co-founders Ido and Eran pioneer Futurespecting – using machine learning to make user-specific predictions available for any business selling online, so it can acquire & retain the highest ROI users.

Yonatan Sela

July 18, 2022

Investment Notes: Voyantis $19m Seed

Co-founders Ido and Eran pioneer Futurespecting – using machine learning to make user-specific predictions available for any business selling online, so it can acquire & retain the highest ROI users.

Yonatan Sela

We’re thrilled to co-lead Voyantis’ $19m Seed round alongside Target Global, with participation from Kaedan Capital, Operator Partners, Schusterman Family Investments, Jibe Ventures and a host of growth executives at Adobe, Shopify, Tinder and Facebook.  

From Retrospecting to Futurespecting 

Everybody says they’re data driven. Many organizations actually are – they retrospect, i.e. use aggregated historical data as a proxy for forward looking decisions. But what if instead of just retrospecting, companies could leverage their data for futurespecting? Advancements in AI and ML make it possible to make user-level predictions that can help companies better understand, for example, the projected lifetime value of a specific prospective user, the likelihood of a future conversion of a freemium user to a subscriber or the expected duration of that subscriber (churn). This type of insight gives companies the ability to deeply impact their unit economics.

Recognizing the power of futurespecting, select industry leaders (e.g. Lyft, Monday.com) have famously invested millions in building and maintaining internal engines that make these predictions available across teams. This innovation helped their growth, marketing, support and product organisations focus on the right customers to support tremendous growth. But 99% of companies don’t have access to this type of insight. Voyantis is changing that – productizing this ‘futurespecting’ capability, building the first predictive growth platform to enable brands to acquire and retain customers based on their future lifetime value.  

We look at the transition to futurespecting as akin to what we’ve seen with attribution: in 2010 attribution was a superpower that only select marketers at the most sophisticated companies had at their disposal. Eventually, it was productized and democratized. And today, attribution is a standard across for online businesses. I believe the same will happen with futurespecting through platforms like Voyantis.

Profitability & privacy tailwinds

Over the past couple of years, the mindset of CEOs (and investors) was “growth at any cost” – almost regardless of profitability. That’s no longer the case, and the quality of revenue, sustainability of growth, and profitability (or a clear path to it) have become a priority for public and private companies alike. Being capital efficient has always been a good thing, it’s now coming back into fashion… In this environment, the ability to predict the Lifetime Value (LTV) of every user becomes even more critical, enabling companies to focus resources on the right users. This is a need shared by anyone selling online, and Voyantis has been serving companies across many sectors: fintech, gaming, SaaS, D2C, apps and more. Voyantis already drives outstanding results for customers like Notion and Miro, and we believe it can bring futurespecting to thousands of others. 

The well published ‘death of the cookie’ has made it increasingly difficult to sell online. We’ve seen this in recent earnings reports, and heard it first hand from countless founders across the ecosystem. As a result, companies need to do much more with their first party data. This shift amplifies the need for a platform like Voyantis, which can connect with companies’ data warehouse once, then drive an evolving set of insights for years to come..

Investing in Ido and Eran

I met Ido for the first time in 2007. He’d convinced me to drop everything to help him build a new company he was about to launch. That started my 5-year adventure at the B2B video platform Tvinci, my first startup experience. During these years, I experienced Ido’s relentless ambition and drive, as well as his way with people, that make him such a powerful recruiter, sales person and leader. 

Tvinci was acquired by Kaltura, and Ido further developed as a senior executive there. A few years down the road Ido began fantasizing about his next venture. He called me in 2020: “I found my co-founder.” When I met him and Eran together for the first time that year, two things were clear. First, Eran - who co-founded and sold his previous machine learning company, Adience - is brilliant. And second, it was obvious their combination of strengths and their palpable chemistry was an ideal match for building a data-focused B2B company.  

We spoke to twenty companies operating in different verticals, and the feedback was almost unanimous: “This is hard to do. But if someone can build this - we’re buying.” We bet on Ido and Eran to be that someone.