For a long time, academic computer scientists would snicker when you even uttered the words “artificial intelligence.” That’s been changing quickly over the last few years and now investors are also taking this space more seriously. Nara, an artificial intelligence company that is probably best known for its Nara.me personalization platform, today announced that it has raised another $6 million in a Series A-2 round. Its existing investors participated in this round, as well as a number of new investors, including .406 Ventures. This brings the company’s total funding to $13 million.
The company, which was founded in 2010 and launched its recommendation platform as an example for its technology two years ago, recently launched Naralogics.com, its platform-as-a-service for providing personalization on demand. Using the service, businesses can use their existing data — and any data source on the web — to provide recommendations, but also to give companies better insight into their users’ behavior and engagement. With this, online publishers and stores can show more relevant content, offers and recommendations to their users, for example, and email marketers can use it to personalize messages automatically.
As Nara’s recently appointed president Jana Eggers told me in an email earlier this week, the funding will go into expanding Nara’s capabilities. “Everyday we are working with customers and prospects on the problems they want our platform to solve,” she said. “What’s exciting is to see how well their needs map to what we can do today and how we can expand in the future.”
Nara.me will also continue to get updates as well, but as the company tells me, both Nara.me and the platform “get active development because Nara.me is built on the platform. Nara.me benefits from all the platform updates, and the platform benefits from our experience growing and differentiating Nara.me.”
In addition to making its latest funding round public, the company also today announced that Dr. Mriganka Sur, the Newton Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Simons Center for the Social Brain at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is joining the company’s advisory board.