A million euro investment: European high-tech company on the way to AI market leadership

Providing 25 new jobs in Germany: v.li.: Investor Franz Fuchsberger, CTO Christian Weber, CEO Patrick Ratheiser and Investor Herbert Gartner

Leftshift One is an internationally successful Graz-based high-tech company operating a generic software platform for artificial intelligence (AI). The young company now aims to become a market leader by means of a start-up funding of two million euros from the technology investors Hermann Hauser and eQventure, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Association for Economical Services (aws). The company is looking for 25 additional software developers.

Graz, Austria. December 16th, 2019. Leftshift One’s centerpiece is a software that can be used to develop countless other cross-industry AI software solutions. The groundwork for this development is the company’s specifically developed software platform G. A. I. A. (Generic Artificial Intelligence Application), which is based on artificial intelligence. More specifically: G. A. I. A. possesses cognitive abilities such as text comprehension, data analysis including the conversion of speech into text and the interpretation of emotions. What is special is that these competencies are so general, i.e. generic, that they are able to form the basis for a wide variety of new applications. This means that with this solution, both smart services as well as digital assistants can be implemented quickly and easily. The high potential of this cross-industry AI solution, which in contrast to competitors also ensures the data sovereignty of large companies, has now convinced the Austrian venture capital company eQventure along with the British-Austrian venture capitalist Hermann Hauser: eQventure, Hermann Hauser as well as the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Association for Economical Services (aws) are investing a total of two million euros in the dynamically expanding company. “This funding will enable us to develop even more strongly and advance our AI platform worldwide across all industries. In addition, the eQventure network enables us the access to new international markets. We want to utilize these opportunities to become Europe’s AI market leader in the business sector intermediate-term,” emphasize Leftshift One founders Patrick Ratheiser and Christian Weber. In order to manage the company’s strong growth, Leftshift One will employ 25 additional software developers in Graz in the next few months.

Support with capital and coaching

eQventure provides Leftshift One with capital as well as with experienced coaches: Franz Fuchsberger, co-founder of the software testing company Tricentis (the company’s value meanwhile exceeds one billion dollars), and serial entrepreneur and eQventure co-founder Herbert Gartner support the company with immediate effect. From the investors’ point of view, investing in the company was a logical move, because: “The generic AI platform G. A. I. A. enables the rapid development of industry-specific, highly scalable AI products for business customers. Thus, the company was able to quickly develop AI products for smart recruiting in the HR sector, for quality assurance in the chemical industry and for the automation of mail enquiries in tourism”, emphasizes Gartner. Leftshift One demonstrates “that the wave of innovation for artificial intelligence does not only emanate from Silicon Valley – on the contrary: at eQventure, we already have a number of Austrian AI companies in our portfolio. Franz Fuchsberger considers “the potential of the platform G. A. I. A. to be enormous. I am convinced that the company can be as successful as “Tricentis”.”

The renowned venture capitalist Hermann Hauser, co-founder of ARM, a high-tech company valued at 30 billion dollars, emphasizes the importance of artificial intelligence: “Every company that wants to remain relevant in the future must intensively strive for a change in direction towards artificial intelligence. I am convinced that Leftshift One will become an important player in the market thanks to the support of eQventure.”

International references

Leftshift One’s solutions are already in international demand: Fast Food giant McDonald’s uses the Austrian solution to aggregate data from over 60,000 annual job applications and to make them comparable. It is important to note that no decision is guided by the software – nor are there any pre-sortings or the like. The German online travel portal “nix-wie-weg.de” also relies on Leftshift One’s artificial intelligence: incoming user inquiries are automatically answered by e-mail. A number of AI solutions for the chemical, pharmaceutical, semiconductor and automotive industries are in the pipeline.

About Leftshift One

Leftshift One GmbH was founded by Patrick Ratheiser and Christian Weber in Graz, Austria, Europe, in 2018. The founding team also includes Vice Presidents Stefan Schmidhofer, Michael Mair and Benjamin Krenn. The company currently employs 15 people. Leftshift One specializes in digital services and assistants on the basis of artificial intelligence. These services are based on G.A.I.A. (Generic Artificial Intelligence Application), a platform with modular artificial cognitive capabilities. For more information and job offers see leftshift.one.

About eQventure

eQventure not only offers young Austrian technology companies growth capital, but also a strong network and fast, energetic support in all situations. The driving force behind eQventure is a network of around 100 successful entrepreneurs from Europe, America and Asia who invest financial resources and know-how in growth-oriented deep-tech companies. The portfolio includes emerging Austrian companies such as Abacus Accounting Technologies, Fauna Audio, USound, Greenwood-Power, Symflower, Chatvisor, SteadySense, femSense, eyeson, ilvi, Stirtec, App Radar, Accessio and Leftshift One.