Singapore: Vertex Ventures co-leads $11.5m Series A in Astound

Symbolic brain image of Artificial intelligence.

Vertex Ventures and Pelion Venture Partners have co-led a $11.5-million Series A round in Astound, an enterprise software company applying machine learning and natural language processing to automate service and support, according to a press release.

Other investors that participated in the Series A round include The Hive, Slack Fund, and Moment Ventures.

The firm offers enterprise service management solutions and automates answers to routine questions, assigns & categorises incidents, recommends the best resolutions, and delivers predictive analytics to its users. The company works with enterprise IT software vendors like ServiceNow, Atlassian, and Salesforce.

In a statement, Sandeep Bhadra, Partner at Vertex Ventures, commented: “As every company becomes more dependent on technology, employee support is becoming business-essential. Astound’s founding team possesses the background in that uniquely positions them to address this need and transform the industry as we know it.”

Vertex Ventures is a global network of funds affiliated with Vertex Venture Holdings, a unit of Singapore’s state investor Temasek Holdings. Temasek is a substantial limited partner (LP) in these funds. In October 2017, it closed an oversubscribed $210 million fund targeting Southeast Asia and India.

Astound was co-founded by Dr. Naghi Prasad, CEO, who holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and Dan Turchin, Chief Product Officer, whose background involved working as a chief investment officer, entrepreneur and product leader in data science for Enterprise Service Management.

The Astound AI platform’s four focus areas are prediction, advisory, answers and analysis domains. The firm’s product classifies support tickets by category and assigns them to the correct agents, minimising the error-prone manual review and routing of tickets.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.