Alegion, an Austin startup that operates a crowd-sourcing automation platform used by Condé Nast, Charles Schwab and the state of Texas, has raised $3.6 million for expansion.
The company received the Series A funding from RHS Investments.
Launched in 2012, Alegion partners with crowd-sourcing marketplaces to deliver structured data to businesses and government agencies that have ongoing or are initiating artificial intelligence projects.
One of Alegion’s crowd-sourcing partners is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a platform where freelance workers sign up to perform tasks.
Alegion overlays its platform on Mechanical Turk, and workers can sign up to perform tasks such as tagging photos or moderating online content. As the workers perform the tasks, Alegion’s software builds data sets, which allows the work to become automated.
“Instead of having employees or contractors do the work, you send the work to the cloud,” said Nathaniel Gates, co-founder and CEO of Alegion. “Workers could be students, stay-at-home moms, people in between jobs or people doing it full time. They can be anywhere in the world, and you can find populations of workers that do the work exceptionally well.”
Condé Naste, for example, uses Alegion to categorize and tag millions of images. As a result, processes that used to be done in weeks now can be completed in hours. For Charles Schwab, Alegion processes thousands of social messages a day.
“Companies have assembled huge volumes of data and now they need to give themselves a competitive advantage with that data,” Gates said. “They need to build models and train those models. That’s the work we’re doing.”
Alegion, which has 14 employees, will use the investment to ramp up its AI initiatives and expand operations.
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