Aerospace Alumni secures $3.2m for industrial AI platform

Technology company Datch has secured $3.2 million in seed funding for its leading-edge “Voice-Visual” AI assistant for industry.

The three members of Datch, Ben Percell, Aric Thorn and Mark Fosdike. The picture is a moody black and white selfie and they are in front of a whitboard.

L-R: CTO's Ben Percell and Aric Thorn, CEO Mark Fosdike

Datch CEO and co-founder Mark Fosdike, who is an aerospace alumni of ECMS, says Datch is thrilled to welcome Blue Bear Capital as the lead investor, along with support from Stage Venture Partners, Tuhua Ventures, Lorimer Ventures, Predictive Venture Partners, and Plug and Play Ventures.

“With industry-leading partners onboard from the energy and manufacturing sectors and with a focus on digital transformation, we are well-positioned to help improve the way industrial organizations capture worker-based knowledge at the frontlines,” Mr. Fosdike said.

The funding announcement coincides with Datch’s hands-free workplace initiative, designed to reduce deskless worker dependencies on common physical touchpoints, a particularly important subject for worker health and safety given the current environment.

Formed in the UK in 2018 by Australian Mark Fosdike and New Zealanders Aric Thorn and Ben Purcell, the now US-based company is at the forefront of developing intelligent voice AI solutions for industrial environments.

“We’re all engineers with experience working on projects across the globe in the aerospace, shipbuilding, and energy sectors. We formed the business after witnessing the incredible amount of time and energy our companies lost when it came to filling out paperwork on the shop floor,” Mr Fosdike said.

“We soon realized that not only do frontline workers lose considerable time on a daily basis carrying out paper-based work and manually undertaking digital processes, but only 5-percent of employee knowledge is retained in a business due to lack of available time, quality factors, and unstructured data collection.

“What’s exciting is that Datch does away with traditional process forms and instead uses a Natural Language Engine to give workers the freedom to conversationally capture their knowledge as soon as it’s generated. Our platform lets them do this hands-free during the job without losing valuable tool time, resulting in significant productivity gains. Further to this, there are upstream advantages to capturing and structuring this knowledge data along with the play-by-play data, leading to  important breakthroughs in asset-based insights.”

Datch’s current funding round will be used to deliver to their growing customer base while expanding the capabilities of their voice-visual platform. Datch’s voice-visual AI is designed to work in industrial environments. These industries spend billions every year to capture worker knowledge, but quality is often low and  productivity sacrificed.Verbal, conversational AI provides a hands-free, highquality approach to business processes, without the tradeoffs on employee time.

Blue Bear Capital Partner Ernst Sack says they’re excited to be partnering with Datch in their mission to deploy this future-proofing AI capability into industrial operations. "Voice technology brings wider context and nuance to human and digital connections by improving the quality and experience of work for the frontline and accelerates knowledge capture and sharing for the organization,” Mr Sack said.

Blue Bear's Dr. Carolin Funk added, "We are particularly excited that Datch is bringing voice technologies to customers in important sectors like sustainable power generation and electric vehicle manufacturing." For further information or to arrange an interview email Datch CEO Mark Fosdike at mark@datch.io

About Datch

Datch is an intelligent voice AI for industrial environments. It uses conversations to solve business process constraints, such as time spent on work orders, logging information, and solving problems during equipment breakdowns. Datch's voice-visual interface allows staff to capture high-quality, real-time knowledge data, recording live sequence-of-events in granular detail and resulting in improved root cause analysis, informed purchasing decisions, and data-driven business intelligence. Working closely with customers across the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors, Datch identifies and obtains high-quality, structured knowledge data, driving higher uptime, increased productivity and top line revenue.

Datch was founded by Bachelor of Engineering (Mech and Aero) graduate Mark Fosdike in 2018, now based in San Francisco. Mark studied in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences from 2008-2011. 

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