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Singapore’s AnyMind Group raises US$13.5M to put AI tech into advertising and HR
October 29, 2018 News AI Artificial Intelligence

AnyMind Group, a Singapore-based startup that provides adtech, marketing and HR solutions, has raised US$13.5 million in a Series B round led by LINE Corporation and Mirai Creation Fund, a SPARX Group-operated fund backed by Japanese bank SMBC and Toyota Motors.

Existing investors JAFCO Asia and Dream Incubator also participated in the round.

The company has five subsidiaries under its umbrella: adtech company AdAsia Holdings, influencer marketing platform CastingAsia, recruitment platform TalentMind, and online publisher trading desks FourM and Acqua Media.

AnyMind Group said it will use the fresh funding to further develop its products, boost its market share in the advertising, marketing and HR industries, as well as bring on new staff.

One particular area of development it will focus on is integrating AI tech across its suite of products.

On the advertising front, AnyMind Group wants to strengthen its programmatic advertising marketplace (which lets media owners buy digital ads easily using software) by improving the ability of its machines to target users with ads based on context. It also wants to help companies reach audiences based on ‘mindsets’ compared to just their profiles.

CEO and Co-founder Kosuke Sogo explained this concept in plain terms to e27: “[This means], for example, showing the right ads to users who want to go on a holiday, rather than just stumbling upon, getting immersed or accidentally clicking on a piece of travel content,” he said.

For the its influencer marketing product, AnyMind Group wants to incorporating campaign performance and pricing predictions that are powered by machine learning algorithms. It also wants to develop more accurate recommendations using computer vision and NLP (Natural Language Processing) analysis on influencer profiles.

This essentially would allow companies to pick the most cost-effective microinfluencer for their campaigns.

For its publishing tools, AnyMind Group is looking into building BI (Business Intelligence) capabilities that will integrate additional streams of data, such as Google Analytics and quality measurement scores, to create more valuable insights for publishers.

Finally, the company intends to build out its AI-powered recruitment tools into a full stack product, which would not only allow HR professionals to manage job candidates, but also payroll, employee analysis and more.

“Ultimately, we want to package AI (and to a greater extent, technology), for professionals, businesses and industries to drive efficiency and growth. We see AI as an assistant, and not something that will replace jobs,” said Sogo.

A company on a hyper-growth trajectory

AnyMind Group began life as just AdAsia Holdings, which was founded in 2016. In just a year, the company was able to clinch a rather substantial US$12 million Series A funding.

The expanded war chest allowed the company to set its sights beyond the advertising and marketing sector.  Sogo said that the company’s overarching goal is to “empower” businesses and professionals across industries with its “easy-to-use, all-in-one” solutions.

To that end, the company placed AdAsia Holdings under its newly-established umbrella AnyMind Group, and subsequently launched CastingAsia and TalentMind.

Sogo said that the diversification into the HR industry was a “natural progression” for the company; the team saw that it could apply CastingAsia’s matching engine outside the advertising sector.

“The engine leverages on machine learning, NLP & semantic analysis, and computer vision, to match brands to influencers, and now we’re using it to match businesses to job seekers,” he said.

AnyMind Group took the acquisition route for its next two subsidiaries – FourM in Japanand Acqua Media in Hong Kong, which were brought into its fold just a month ago.

Sogo said the acquisitions allowed AnyMind Group to “immediately” grow its market share in Japan and Greater China, adding expertise, and publisher relationships (and clients).