Home Venture Capital Benjamin Harvey Raises $13.8 Million Through LinkedIn Pitch

Benjamin Harvey Raises $13.8 Million Through LinkedIn Pitch


AI, LinkedIn, AI Squared

Benjamin Harvey has navigated an innovative path to securing $13.8 million in Series A funding for his startup using LinkedIn.

Benjamin Harvey, CEO of AI Squared, has navigated an innovative path to securing $13.8 million in Series A funding for his startup, leveraging the power of LinkedIn to connect with potential investors, according to Forbes. Harvey, who describes his company as a “washing machine for AI,” reached out directly to Roger Ferguson, former CEO of TIAA, via LinkedIn in February 2022. This bold move led to an invitation for breakfast at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C., setting the stage for a fruitful partnership.

The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund is a financial services organization that is a private provider of financial retirement services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and governmental fields.

“When I have a vision, I’m relentless with trying to make it become a reality,” Harvey told Forbes, reflecting on his determination to drive his company forward.

The Series A raise, closed in March, was led by venture firm Ansa Capital, with participation from Baltimore-based New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Ferguson himself. Since its founding in 2019, AI Squared has raised a total of $20 million from investors.

Despite not yet turning a profit, Harvey anticipates that AI Squared will exceed $10 million in revenue by 2024. The company generates income through product licensing and data usage fees, serving clients such as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, the National Security Agency (NSA), Nasdaq-traded cybersecurity company Rapid7, and a Coca-Cola contractor in Florida.

Harvey believes AI Squared fills a crucial gap in the market, enabling organizations to extract full value from their AI models and machine learning investments.

Greg Papadopoulos of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest labor union in the United States, emphasizes the democratizing potential of AI, empowering individuals with creative amplifiers.

Addressing the challenge of deploying AI technology effectively, Papadopoulos likened the current landscape to washing clothes without folding them. AI Squared, he believes, is the solution—a comprehensive platform that cleans, organizes, and optimizes data for actionable insights.

Harvey’s journey from a childhood tinkering with computers to founding AI Squared showcases his passion and determination. Drawing on his experience at the NSA and Databricks, he identified a critical need for integrating AI insights into business applications, laying the groundwork for his entrepreneurial venture.

Now, armed with fresh capital and bolstered by influential backers like Ferguson, AI Squared is poised for expansion in the burgeoning AI-as-a-service market. Reflecting on his journey, Harvey emphasizes the importance of seizing opportunities, even if they come through unconventional channels like LinkedIn.

“We’ve grown that relationship off of a LinkedIn message,” Harvey notes, underscoring the transformative potential of digital networking in today’s business landscape.

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