Startup Of The Week

Startup Of The Week: Maana

Maana, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, encodes the world’s industrial expertise and data and translates it into digital knowledge. Its technology — which includes a knowledge graph — coupled with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, semantic search and deep learning — is considered a a key enabler of digital transformation at some of the world’s largest industrial companies.

Maana’s technology extracts knowledge from a specific source, empowering subject experts with knowledge models that can used to recommend decisions in real-time, helping industrial giants generate operational efficiencies and new revenue sources.

“More and more large companies are starting to speak the same language,” Babur Ozden, Maana’s CEO and co-founder, said during an interview with The Innovator in Davos. “They want to know ‘Can I use my data to influence all the decisions I make’?”

The largest industrial companies have been data savvy for decades. “What digitization means is can they use their data in a uniquely different way and the number one they would look at the difference is whether it going to make an impact to their top or bottom line,” says Ozden. “ They are all testing the state of the art of everything. They need to find a way digitization equates to significant impact on their financial tables to get the CEO and board’s attention. When a company is convinced it can be done it is ready for a full assault. When there is a chief digital officer — he or she and the organization create a road map for doing things. “

Digitization road maps fall into two categories: edge and center. The edge category uses the data devices generate on-site. “It is inevitable with more and more machines and advance sensors to push many of the decisions in real time operations remotely,” says Ozden. The other track focuses on the center, and that is where Maana’s technology comes in. “A company’s subject matter experts — are still and will remain key decision makers — they have domain expertise — it is there that companies can use data across the board and help with every decision,” Ozden says.

“Companies need a quick easy way to develop new solutions and speed is key,” he says. “Our knowledge layer gives a company a mass-scale decision model. That is our argument and has been a major factor in our success. We wanted to fully verify our claims about what technology could do and to show that a technology like Maana can be used in the drilling part of the company, trading part of the company, shipping, or customer service. It was extremely important to us to make sure that each time we acquired a customer that we could help the customer grow to the maximum potential.”

In December Maana raised a $28 million series C round of venture capital, bringing the total raised to $68 million.

The latest round, which Ozden said will be used to scale globally and support the company’s growing Global 300 customer base, was led by China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Eight Square Capital. Other new investors include Accenture Ventures and Sino Capital. All of Maana’s existing strategic investors, Intel Capital, GE Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Shell Technology Ventures participated.

About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.