Star Tech: nybl… where humanity meets artificial intelligence

A Dubai-based (AI)-driven platform aims to build a future-proof business to help free up human time to achieve more

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Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Sat 25 Jun 2022, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 3:26 PM

The best things come in small packages, and while this rings true for the humble beginnings of nybl, it skims the surface of this artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platform that aims at building a future-proof business to help free up human time so that they can achieve more.

Nybl went from concept to reality in 2018, and holds a bold vision for the future. Its firm focus is on enabling the ‘democratisation’ of data. Nybl’s data programmes are accessible in the public domain.

Change is the only constant

Nybl has a deep-rooted interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and a humanitarian approach to conducting business. It has forged a partnership with International Humanitarian City (IHC) Dubai to bring about change on a global scale.

Nybl’s initiatives are making an international impact, and will help enhance the efficiency and delivery of aid to over 120 countries worldwide.

IHC Dubai is the largest humanitarian hub in the world, and distributes over $150 (Dh550.95) million in relief to countries across the globe.

Noor Alnahhas, CEO, nybl, reflected upon the path-breaking collaboration. “Giuseppe Saba, CEO, IHC Dubai, and I met at Expo 2020 Dubai,” he said. “Giuseppe shared his dream of a global humanitarian data bank, connecting all the global humanitarian hubs into one data centre, being led by Dubai. I instantly knew this was something we had to be involved in,” he said.

The partnership has enabled nybl to deliver value by transforming underutilised data into actionable intelligence while identifying opportunities to improve the distribution of relief, resulting in substantial savings of both time and money. “We will predict changes in IHC Dubai’s future requirements and the potential timing around when the relief will be needed,” Noor said.

Nybl is deploying its technology for the IHC Dubai’s team to use directly. “Literally anyone sitting in their office can run our AI-driven programme and continue to improve their operations, and that’s the extent of how user-friendly our solutions are,” he said.

The innovative programme was presented to the United Nations (UN) on May 12 at the annual conference for Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) in Geneva by Noor and Giuseppe.

The HNPW provides a collaborative space for practitioners and experts with a wide array of humanitarian stakeholders, including, but not limited, to UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Red Cross, Red Crescent, military, private sector initiatives, and member states.

Nybl’s CSR initiative with IHC Dubai is just the beginning, as it seeks to expand the humanitarian relief data bank to 10 more humanitarian hubs.

How AI can improve efficiency

Nybl, meaning half a byte in the computing domain, is the smallest measurable size of a data packet. The company’s tagline is transforming data into intelligence, one nybl at a time. Success is nybl’s domain and has manifested since their initial introduction at the Dubai Future Accelerators Programme (DFA).

Nybl joined the fourth cohort of the DFA, a programme that fosters partnerships between entrepreneurs, private sector organisations, and government entities. The DFA aims to provide solutions to industry challenges and was launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation, who further proposed the Smart Dubai DFA challenge. The ‘challenge’ sought to reduce the amount of time government employees spent on planning and purchasing inventory by 30 per cent through technology.

“Smart Dubai’s target was 30 per cent; we were able to reduce the time by 85 per cent,” said Noor. “We identified that the challenge was not only in the planning and purchasing of inventory but also in the management of the inventory, which we improved by 87 per cent, saving them approximately Dh100 million annually.”

Nybl is a part of the GrowthX Accelerator Programme conducted by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office and Microsoft. The 12-week programme includes nybl and 20 other startups and provides them with access to the market and investors.

Culture as a differentiator

Nybl’s distinctive approach and a strong focus on internal culture have geared the company towards helping to change the way the world conducts business. This change is evident in their recent oil and gas application, whereby nybl developed and successfully deployed an AI solution that provides failure prediction, optimisation, and management of oil wells. This technology has saved operators up to $90 (Dh330.58) million in potential losses.

Noor, who co-founded nybl with five other like-minded partners, stood at the frontlines of the World AI Show and broke down complex issues into bite-size pieces. More evident than nybl’s approachable style and solutions is the company’s strong belief in keeping the human aspect of AI alive. Nybl prides itself on being a people-first company. “Every company is made up of people. You take care of your people, support them, foster their talent… and they will deliver their best. That’s what you want from your team”, said Noor, who is also known as the “Chief of Dreaming Stuff Up”.

Dreaming up ideas is an integral aspect of nybl’s culture and work. “I believe that the narrative around our way of life is changing. People are looking for more sustainable choices. We are realising that we want to achieve more but use less resources. This is where the role of tech comes in, but tech alone is not enough to reach these goals; we need to work parallel with other industries. Tech startups are stepping up and enhancing their value proposition by identifying meaningful ways in which they, and other startups, can come together to identify and innovate distinctive solutions and tools that ensure sustainable differences for humanity,” Noor added.

Tech holds the key

Nybl is diversifying their portfolio from healthcare, security, and back to oil and gas. “We recently signed a pilot project with a major oil and gas producer in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) for the nybl virtual flow-metre. This technology allows us to accurately measure multiphase flow rates in a producing well. Right now, it’s a technology proof-of-concept, and when we validate it, the potential is enormous,” Noor said.

Nybl uses its high-tech solutions as a platform to build on. Commtel is a prime example and sells CN-Shield as a product, using AI-powered by nybl. The company has acquired new technology such as Nubyla in April of 2021. “We had a missing element in our framework platform, and Nubyla just happened to address that. Marlon Gonzalez, the founder of Nubyla, is now part of nybl’s core development team. We are excited for the future and what it holds – we are building a business with amazing talent, leading-edge technology, and a company culture that fosters passion and excellence; the possibilities are endless,” he added.

Though nybl is headquartered in Dubai, it has branches in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The people-focused AI startup encourages remote work culture.

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