Aaron Goldfeder and Yue Ning, co-founders of Panda AI. (Source: Panda AI)

Panda AI the Latest in a String of Successes from Allen’s AI2 Incubator

Paul Allen’s incubator has birthed what appears to be a promising venture.

Allen, best known for co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, died in 2015 with an estimated net worth of $20.3 billion. His AI2 start-up fund’s latest success story is Panda AI.

A story by Taylor Soper on geekwire.com introduces Panda AI, which is still quiet on details about its technology and products. The company is led by CEO Aaron Goldfeder, who previously co-founded EnergySavvy, an enterprise analytics company acquired by Uplight in 2019. Co-founder and CTO Yue Ning, a former software engineer at Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Qualtrics, previously led teams focused on text analytics. Ning also previously founded Seattle-based natural language processing startup Civet AI.

Both Goldfeder and Ning joined AI2 as entrepreneur-in-residences late last year. Here’s how Goldfeder described Panda in an email to GeekWire:

“PANDA is a stealth mode B2B startup enabled by very recent breakthroughs in AI. Our goal is to help teams win more, work less, and be happier. PANDA is a next-generation solution for problems that many millions of knowledge workers experience daily. Our approach was born out of personal frustration with the current generation toolset available to us while running EnergySavvy. Early adopters love PANDA and we are having a blast building it.”

Well, that isn’t much of a definitive explanation regarding the who, what, and where of Panda AI, but the article digs deeper.

The company’s product advisor is Eric Browne, co-founder of Smartsheet.

“There are many founding and aspirational parallels between the companies and Eric is diving in deeply,” Goldfeder said.

Smartsheet is a software as a service (SaS) for collaboration and work management. It’s used to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, share documents and manage other work, using a tabular user interface. Panda AI, presumably, integrates AI into the functionality with Natural Language Processing. Users, one can surmise, will be able to issue voice commands when using the service.

For now, Panda AI has two employees but Goldfeder expects the team to grow soon given interest in its early access program. The company is working with two AI2 researchers: Matthew Peters and Noah Smith.

AI2 raised $10 million this past January for its incubator, which fosters new AI-oriented startups in deep learning, computer vision and natural language processing. The program has already spun-out Kitt.ai, acquired by Baidu in 2017, and Xnor.ai, acquired by Apple in January. Others are Lexion, Blue Canoe and WellSaid Labs.

AI2 plans to spin out 12 companies from the $10 million fund over the next few years.

read more at geekwire.com