Author Archives: Aneel Lakhani

  1. Free-dom to communicate with your users

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    “Free software is software that respects your freedom and the social solidarity of your community. So it’s free as in freedom.”…Richard M Stallman (aka “rms”)

    Apt when considering how to build an infrastructure software product that has as its core premise, empowering developers with the freedom and flexibility to create meaningful communication with the users of their own product freely and easily.

    The essence of Novu – the open source notification infrastructure, built for developers by developers, to simplify managing, orchestrating and deploying notifications, through a single API whilst retaining full control.

    Hard to resist para-quoting rms again – “If the developer doesn’t control the program, the program controls the developer…….”

    With Novu, developers have the freedom to embed mission critical notification capabilities into any product through a simple API, the flexibility to self host or opt for a cloud service, whilst retaining full control.

    When Tomer and Dima shared they had built the first open source solution for notification infrastructure, built for developers by developers – we were hooked.

    At Crane we are firm believers that critical infrastructure software should be open source by design – giving developers the tools to build high-performance systems that are easy to test, flexible to use and secure to deploy.

    We are thrilled to partner with Tomer Barnea and Dima Grossman, the co-founders, embody this philosophy.

    We are also thrilled that Novu is our first investment in Israel and excited to have alongside us incredible co-investors Ariel Maslos, EniacVC (Tim Young), m]x[v (Mark Ghermezian), Entree Capital (Adi Gozes), Tom Preston-Warner and a host of Israel’s leading enterprise entrepreneurs.

    —Krishna Visvanathan

  2. Nuclia makes the unsearchable searchable, raises $5.4M, and open sources NucliaDB

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    Almost a year ago, we were introduced to Eudald and Ramon, founders of what was then called Flaps (think ailerons), by our friends at Aldea. Morgane and I took the first call. They pitched an enterprise knowledge management product. For those who don’t know the space, it’s stupendously boring and not what you would think of as a growth market. On top of that, it’s hard to build anything that doesn’t just devolve into people pinging deep links to each other. 

    Then they did the demo.

    Hold. The. Damn. Phone.

    It was so much more than KMS. If you look closely, here are some things you’ll see:

    • Searching turns up structured and unstructured data, like video
    • In each file, you are taken to the block of text or time (?!) with the relevant content
    • Relevance is not just keyword-based, but conceptual, aka semantic
    • There’s a sidebar of related content

    So, what they had built was search against unstructured data across media types that’s both keyword and semantic and does relations. 🤯 

    The next natural questions were: 

    • Is this for real?
    • Are there tricks that make it look like something it’s? 
    • How does it work?
    • What are the limitations?
    • What’s the stack of technologies underneath? 
    • Can we strip the KMS UI off it and use it for other applications?

    Which led to a discussion about why KMS, what Eudald and Ramon were really setting out to build and for who, what they really cared about, and what dent they wanted to make in the future.

    Fast forward to Nuclia, which takes the core tech behind what they showed us in that demo and provides it as an API that can be plugged into any app or service to provide keyword and semantic search against unstructured, multi-media, and multi-lingual source material. It’s bloody magic. ✨

    Nuclia makes the unsearchable searchable.

    Yesterday, they released the API service in private beta. Sign up at nuclia.com to get access today!

    They also open sourced NucliaDB, the first vector database designed for unstructured data. You can bring your own vectorization and normalization—while NucliaDB provides storage, indexing, and querying. You get the same vector, keyword, and relational search that powers Nuclia. Find it on Github at github.com/nuclia/nucliadb.

    Last but not least, we’re very proud to lead their $5.4M Seed round alongside Elaia . 😃🥳🚀

    —Aneel Lakhani

  3. Stratio raises $12M Series A to power a zero downtime future for 335 million vehicles

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    In November, Stratio announced the closing of a successful $12M Series A led by Forestay with the participation of us here at Crane.

    Since leading their Seed round in 2019, we’ve seen Stratio change gears from finding product market fit to delivering consistent growth to an inflection point that is rapidly accelerating the company’s growth. We are excited to add more fuel to the fire of Stratio’s mission to enable a zero downtime future for fleets and public transport.

    Founders Ricardo Margalho and Rui Sales and the brilliant team at Stratio were able to figure out the solution for the trillion-dollar problem of downtime. Their AI platform processes thousands of data points collected from vehicle sensors to predict faults in key components, allowing customers to shift the maintenance paradigm from a reactive to a predictive one.

    The game-changing nature of Stratio’s technology is reflected in their client portfolio, which includes 5 of the top 10 transportation companies in the world, like Ford Trucks, Arriva, Keolis, and Go-Ahead. There are 335 million fleet vehicles out there that can get better utilization and provide better service to people out there. Stratio is going to impact all of them, which makes our investment such a clear decision.

    Stratio saves millions of people from public transportation delays, postponed deliveries, and late arrival of essential goods every day. We know this Series A will enable them to continue their growth trajectory and allow them to unleash the full potential of a technology that will change transportation as we know it.