Despite the current war on talent in the tech space that is seeing some of the world’s biggest tech companies fight over critical talent that can make or break them, artificial intelligence company Crowd Media (ASX: CM8) is joining the party in a move that comes about after 3 years of developing their conversational AI platform.
The increase in sales and marketing support will take place after operating for three years on a shoestring budget where almost all funds controlled by the company went towards the development of their Talking Head platform.
To support their plans to showcase their world, leveraging on the three clients signed in the past three months, Crowd Media successfully raised $2.1 million from institutional investors that were impressed by the deals signed in quick succession just months after CEO Idan Schmorak was appointed in September 2021 to drive the platform’s commercialisation.
Working in the tech industry which moves faster than any of its traditional counterparts due to the wholly-digital nature of tech, Crowd is rapidly evolving. Although plans initially were to proceed with their shoestring sales team which signed the three recent clients, Schmorak foresaw a changing market environment where Crowd needed to move quickly to bolster its sales team or risk slowing its momentum.
The situation in Ukraine has continued to impact markets, as well as COVID’s lingering effects. In the weeks following the April briefing, NASDAQ, the best market indicator for global tech companies, dropped 19.5%.
“Crowd’s leadership knows that in a changing environment, you always need to look around. And when looking around, we have seen a risk,” said Schmorak.
“And to eliminate this risk we asked ourselves – what do we need to grow responsibly, and how do we mitigate this risk?”
The result was to secure its balance sheet while a group of institutional investors were keen to increase their exposure in a move that required precocious leadership and accuracy to execute in a very small time frame window under the ASX-listing rules which require institutional Placements to take place while in a trading halt – in this case, just two days.
Shareholders that missed out of the quickfire raise can be rest assured that Crowd is putting the funds to good use in the future with Schmorak labelling them “the jet fuel to accelerate this growth process of Crowd.”
“We are going to fulfil this plan by building up and increasing our headcount. The headcount in the tech team will allow us to release new features for the program.
“We’re also going to scale up our headcount in commercial ways by building a marketing and sales team that will let the world know that we exist.”
The talent drive will hopefully take Crowd to new clients and into new verticals where they are seeking more partners and industries to work with.
“We are doing so with great confidence in the technology that we are building, and this capital raise is the fuel for it.”
Since being appointed CEO less than a year ago, Schmorak has overseen the acceleration of Crowd’s tech development timeline, delivering beta versions of their Talking Head AI product to the market in recent months. Crowd’s Talking Heads are a platform for conversational commerce that will allow customers to interact with a humanlike avatar. This has huge potential for applications in multiple different industries. The Company has begun to commercialise this tech having signed deals with healthcare company PangeaMed and media search group SourceFlare. The Company has also recently announced the launch of an interactive NFT collection. It’s clear that Crowd is on a roll, gaining momentum with each passing month.
The Company is now in an optimal financial position having come off two cash flow positive quarters and now, with capital raise funds in the bank. The beginning of commercialising their tech saw the Company report $1.7 million in customer receipts for the quarter ended 31 March 2022.
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