‘A Look in the Labs’ is an Information Age series profiling the high-growth startups based in our labs – what they do, their ambitions, and the advantages they’ve gained being based at the ACS Innovation Labs.
This week, we talk to Matt Jones, CEO of SourseAI.
CEO Matt Jones
Based at Harbour City Labs, Sydney
Online at Website
What does your business/product do and how does it help people/other businesses?
SourseAI is a cloud native augmented intelligence SaaS platform built specifically for the telco, media and utilities industries.
Sourse ingests competitive market data and a comprehensive set of client data from core systems to provide clients with forecasting, anomaly detection, causal prediction and ‘what if’ scenario planning tools that support data-savvy businesses to drive their decision-making more effectively.
When integrated into client execution systems, SourseAI Machine Learning (ML) models can be applied to make processes ‘intelligent’, treating every customer and customer interaction with precise and highly predictive actions, recommendations and personalised treatments.
How did the idea for your business come about?
In a former startup, I acquired an AI company that came out of CSIRO's Data61. The globally patented IP was applied to my retail telco and media subscription business with great results.
I later sold the retail business and retained the technology and IP, and have now created a multi-tenanted cloud native augmented intelligence SaaS platform specifically for the telco, media and utilities industries.
Was being an entrepreneur always one of your life’s goals and what have you learned about being an entrepreneur?
Not really – I had a mid-life crisis at 38 and quit corporate after 20 or so years in global software and management consulting.
The first few years were pretty cruisy, as much of what I was doing was advisory services.
But then I started raising capital and started my own business, and that’s when things got real!
The first company I started scaled over five years to $18m in ARR [annual recurring revenue] and about 30 staff. It sold in 2020.
I’ve learnt so many things through the journey of being a founder, a leader, a spokesperson for a brand, a face to media, shareholders and customers. But the most important lesson I've learnt is hire great people and give them the space to be great – your business will grow exponentially if you do!
What has been the biggest challenge and the biggest milestone for your business so far?
The biggest challenge is scaling all parts of the business in parallel, including product, sales, engineering, and customer success. Standard startup journey, I guess.
Although there is a nuance when it comes to AI software startups, until you have the data it’s difficult to prove the R&D, so that adds another complexity in the SDLC [software development life cycle].
Biggest milestone was closing our seed round in April this year.
We now have the funding and resources to focus on turning more of the R&D into product and bringing on more clients.
Where would you like your business to be in two years?
In the Gartner Magic Quadrant for augmented intelligence platforms.
What is the best business or life advice you’ve ever been given?
99% of what makes an entrepreneur successful is perseverance.
What made you decide to move into the ACS Innovation Labs and how has it assisted your business?
It’s very well set up for data science-style software companies. The environment is conducive to the style of work that our PhDs need. Facilities are outstanding, location is incredible and we are really well supported by the HCL team – a big shout out to ACJ!
For more information on the ACS Innovation Labs, visit the websites of Harbour City Labs in Sydney, River City Labs in Brisbane, and Bay City Labs in Melbourne.
If you're interested in joining successful Australian businesses in the ACS Innovation Labs, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.