Local Business

Narrativa — first AI startup to get funded in UAE

Staff Report/Abu Dhabi
Filed on August 29, 2017
Narrativa  first AI startup to get funded in UAE
David Llorente, Narrativa, CEO.

(Supplied photo)

Narrativa, the technology company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to translate data into easy-to-understand content, announced today the closing of its pre-Series A round, making it one of the first AI start-ups to receive funding in the UAE.

twofour54, Abu Dhabi's media free zone, led the round with participation from a number of large media companies and business angels from Europe, the USA and the UAE.

Narrativa uses proprietary AI technology to automatically transform large data sets into accessible narrative content. Narrativa - founded in 2015 with the idea of transforming data into text, in an automatic, smart and scalable way - is the only company worldwide to automatically generate content in Arabic - along with several other languages.

David Llorente, Narrativa's CEO, said: "Narrativa is at the forefront of natural language generation technology and this latest round of funding shows strong confidence in Narrativa's growth and future prospects. The rise of big data, the rapid development of computing capabilities and the evolution of AI are revolutionising the way we produce and consume content. Narrativa's AI technology helps companies in the media, e-commerce and enterprise reporting space to exponentially increase the amount of content generated, significantly reduce costs, and develop new revenue streams."

Narrativa's client base is primarily in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Europe. With this funding round, the company is looking to penetrate the wider Mena market and expand into other industries where content can be generated, such as the financial services and oil and gas sectors. In the long term Narrativa aims to target the global digital content licensing market, which is estimated to be worth $4 billion.

Maryam AlMheiri, CEO of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said: "Our investment in Narrativa is in line with our vision to champion the creative community and foster the production of content. The Mena region provides ample opportunities for expansion, and is bolstered by a young, dynamic, tech-savvy population that has one of the highest consumptions of social media per capita worldwide. Less than two per cent of online content is in Arabic; making start-ups like Narrativa so valuable. We are thrilled to be part of Narrativa's next stage of its growth story."

Funds raised from this latest round of investment will go towards team expansion, sales and marketing, and technology development to further enhance the evolution of Narrativa's proprietary AI technology. Before closing the round, Narrativa successfully participated in two acclaimed media start-up accelerator programmes: Next Media Accelerator in Hamburg and Flat6Labs in Abu Dhabi. - business@khaleejtimes.com

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