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10 November 2017

Aylien lands $2.3m investment round

Aylien will recruit 70 more staff and launch its text analysis software following a round backed by the University Bridge Fund.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

 Aylien, an Ireland-based text analysis technology developer linked to several Irish universities, secured €2m ($2.3m) on Wednesday in a funding round led by investment vehicle University Bridge Fund.

Irish state-owned enterprise support agency Enterprise Ireland backed the round, as did venture capital fund SOSV. University Bridge Fund is a $68m fund backed by University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin that was launched in June last year.

Parsa Ghaffari, chief executive of Aylien, moved to Ireland from Iran in 2003 with assistance from Enterprise Ireland's Startup Entrepreneur Program for non-EU migrants.

Aylien has developed tools for text analysis, using machine and deep learning technologies to categorise blocks of text or hyperlinks for purposes such as data science.

The product builds on research partnerships with universities including National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

The business has approximately 30,000 users which include electronics manufacturer Sony, computer software developer Microsoft and consulting firm Deloitte. Aylien is due to launch a public version of its software by the end of 2017.

The €2m injection will be used to recruit 70 new professionals in software engineering, product management, and sales and marketing. Helen McBreen, investment director of growth equity firm Atlantic Bridge, which manages the University Bridge Fund, will join Aylien’s board.

Aylien previously raised $630,000 in March 2016 from a round featuring both Enterprise Ireland and SOSV. Deals database Pitchbook recorded a $500,000 series A in 2010 that featured SOSV and Parsa Ghaffari before Aylien joined SOSV's accelerator in 2011.

Ghaffari said: "We have had a great year so far, with phenomenal growth in traction and team size, along with signing up key customers and pushing the boundaries of scientific research in natural language processing and deep learning." 

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