Eilla AI wants to do a VC analyst’s job for them
No more 'monkey work' = more interesting work?
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Usually we cover early-stage startups that are in the process of raising a round.
Sometimes though, the way the timing works out, they’ve raised around the time we feature them.
Given the current market, it’s perhaps no surprise that an A.I. startup has fallen into that bracket.
So today we bring you Eilla AI on the day they announce their first funding round, totalling $1.5 million.
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No more ‘monkey work’? Eilla AI wants to do a VC, M&A, or PE analyst’s (current) job for them
If you’re entering the buzzy and highly competitive world of A.I. startups, targeting a market with money to spend on helping it make more money isn’t a bad idea.
That’s what London-based Eilla AI is doing with its A.I. product designed to assist the workflows of analysts and associates working in venture capital, M&A, and private equity.
The product is designed to do the heavy lifting in tasks like creating company profiles, competitor analysis, market mapping, and conducting due diligence.
CEO and co-founder Nikola Lazarov gives an example of competitor analysis, where an analyst would have to do a lot of manual trawling of company websites, LinkedIn pages, and web search results.
The analyst would then think about everything they’ve found and come to some conclusions. Eilla AI is designed to do all of this workflow for them.
It sounds like there won’t be much need for analysts anymore! But hold up; Lazarov is keen to stress that Eilla AI doesn’t want to put anyone out of a job.
“Our goal is not to replace anyone, but to actually make much more efficient analysts and associates. As our clients say, the ‘monkey work’ is what they're doing a lot of the time. We want to help them with that so that they can focus more on thinking, which is why they are hired, right?”
He admits that some customers might use Eilla AI to cut their headcount, but he is overall optimistic that using smart people to carry out relatively basic tasks is a waste, and they could be doing other, more advanced work.
How it works
Lazarov says Eilla AI is built on a variety of A.I. APIs and open source models.
“It's a chain of LLMs [large language models]... We're talking about a semi-autonomous agent here… We're building the infrastructure around these models. We're doing all sorts of things like scraping, extracting, summarising.”
Co-founder Petar Petrov adds that the system is built to closely mimic human workflows, which the startup pitches as one of its advantages.
“We work very closely with our clients. And that allows us to build the system in a way that actually works and has technological substance, rather than just being a single model.”
In a world where any startup can come along, plug data into an LLM and call it an A.I. product, Lazarov says Eilla stands out because two of its three co-founders are experienced A.I. and natural language processing engineers who have been deeply involved in the tech since long before ChatGPT came along just under a year ago.
“We know a bit more than most of the startups that came in after ChatGPT. On top of that, we fully understand that it's a generative A.I. revolution, not an A.I. revolution.
“A lot of the more basic models, they still work, they're still super good. But right now you have a completely new door open with these generative A.I. models that are in an exploration phase. You don't need them necessarily. You're exploring what you can do, and we found a very good application of them.
“We're not saying that we're the only one that can do it, but it's a door open. And we're first-movers right now.”
There’s more on this in the ‘Go deeper’ section below.
The story so far
Eilla AI’s story begins in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo, where Lazarov, Petrov and their fellow co-founder Nikolay Babulkov grew up.
“We always knew that we wanted to do a startup one day and we wanted to do it together.”
Lazarov said he came up with the idea for Eilla while working as an analyst at a hedge fund.
“My proposals were a bit ahead of the time for the fund. They were liking it, but in order for me to give life to these ideas, I had to start my own company.”
The trio founded Eilla in early 2022, initially as a more generic research tool. They narrowed it down to serve the finance market earlier this year.
While they’re beginning with the overlapping tasks that VC, M&A, and private equity analysts and associates have to conduct, Petrov says the plan is to expand to cover more tasks and more of the financial industry over time.
Eilla AI was bootstrapped until recently. It has just raised a $1.5 million Seed round led by Eleven Ventures with participation from Fuel Ventures, plus Mark Pearson, founder and managing partner at Fuel Ventures, in an individual capacity.
“We did it on our own with no help, no network,” says Lazarov.
“We skipped the incubator and pre-seed stage and now we’re here... It took us a year and a half, which is not a very quick process, but it was worth it. We learned so much along the way; we grew up as founders.”
The startup will now expand its team and scale up its offering.
Go deeper on Eilla AI
Read more about their competition, vision, and the challenges they face:
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