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TextQL attempts to enhance corporate data with AI.

Data should inform every company choice, say Mark Hay and Ethan Ding. Ambitious? For sure. Despite meeting during the epidemic a few years ago, the two engineers are hopeful.

Hay and Ding co-founded TextQL, which integrates a company’s data stack into massive language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and GPT-4. Hay said the goal is to provide business teams with the option to ask data queries on-demand using tools that “understand their teams’ ‘nouns’ and semantics.”

Data leaders have been misled for 15 years by misleading promises. In an email conversation with Eltrys, TextQL CTO Hay said half of the Fortune 500 chief data officers are averse to the phraseself service’. “Their 400,000 data scientists spend 40% or more of their time on one-time data requests, and their business teams use words that are represented differently in their databases, resulting in months of lost productivity arguing over numbers.”

Hay, a former Facebook machine learning engineer, and Ding, a former Bessemer Venture Partners data team member and gardening metaphor aficionado, felt they could solve the problem.

They used TextQL in 2022, which employs a data model to connect a company’s information to a customer’s business “nouns” in their language, such as “order,” “item,” “dealer,” “SKU,” “inventory,” etc.

For already-asked questions, TextQL integrates with business intelligence platforms and sends users to dashboards. Hay says it may reference Alation business data catalogs and Confluence or Google Drive notes.

This lets TextQL users query a chatbot, “Can you show me a list of very late orders?” “Calculate the highest concentration distribution centers?” TextQL’s automation component may send managers data-related emails in addition to answering inquiries.

“In an economic environment where everyone’s trying to do more with less, we can give enterprise operators superpowers on one platform,” Hay said.

TextQL competes with Palantir and C3.ai, according to Hay, and has six customers in healthcare, bio and life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, and media. He says TextQL has “several years” of runway with “six figures” in annual recurring income.

Hay added, “The slowdown hasn’t affected us as much, if anything—companies are excited about our software for helping them do more with lower headcounts. Our whole staff is made up of venture-backed, seasoned founders, which is uncommon to find elsewhere.

TextQL received $4.1 million in pre-seed and seed funding from Neo, DCM, Unshackled Ventures, Worklife Ventures, PageOne Ventures, FirstHand Ventures, and the Indicator Fund. The company has a workforce of ~10.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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