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April 6, 2023

Native AI Raises $3.5M Seed for AI-powered Consumer Research

(Boguslaw Mazur/Shutterstock)

Brand marketing can be challenging in this trend-driven age of TikTok where customer needs and preferences are rapidly evolving. Traditional market research tools can be slow or outdated, leaving brands behind as trends change with the wind.

One company looking to solve this is Native AI, a marketing intelligence platform leveraging generative AI and digital twin technology. The company announced it has raised $3.5 million in seed funding to enable brands to connect with their target audience through generative AI-powered consumer research.

Imagine the ability to chat with a custom clone of a target customer and receive instant answers to questions like “What new flavors are you most likely to buy?” or “Which colors will you be wearing this spring?”

Native is making this possible with generative AI . . . and the right data, of course. The company says its proprietary AI models use real-time industry, consumer, and product data to create custom digital twins of target customer and consumer bases to collect market insights. These digital twins can then be asked specific questions about products, habits, and preferences, to which users can get actionable and unbiased answers within minutes, according to the company.

“Consumer research is going through a renaissance and generative AI is leading the way,” said Frank Pica, CEO and co-founder of Native. “Imagine being able to chat with a custom clone of your target audience anytime, anywhere. This makes customer engagement substantially deeper, faster, better, and more cost-effective than what’s possible with traditional market research. For instance, brands can get specific answers to key questions, like ‘What new flavors are you most likely to buy?’, instantly. That simply wasn’t possible before today.”

Native AI creates digital twins of target customers. (Source: Native AI)

Some generative AI platforms like ChatGPT are trained on non-specific public datasets, but Native asserts its users can see the actual sources for specific recommendations and answers. The platform can be configured to precise audiences, personas, and customer bases, and can include a company’s proprietary data. Native says this makes recommendations more targeted, accurate, transparent, and less biased than traditional market research avenues like consumer surveys.

Brands can also leverage the Native AI platform for daily monitoring of product, industry, and competitor performance. Consumer reviews can be mined from major retailer websites to be analyzed for tracking customer sentiment and brand health, as well as benchmarking against competitors and identifying opportunities for product and customer service improvement.

Native was founded by CEO Pica and COO Sarah Sanders in 2018. The founders saw a need to democratize AI marketing technology after years of developing solutions and working with IBM Watson’s NLP capabilities to understand consumers and markets.

The company’s customers include McKinsey & Company and Kellogg’s. This latest seed round was led by JumpStart Ventures and Ivy Ventures, with participation from 11 Tribes Ventures and Connetic Ventures.

Native AI’s dashboards give customer insights through data and AI. (Source: Native AI)

“The market potential for generative AI and digital twin technologies is exploding–and Native is at the forefront in bringing these two technologies together to deliver business value,” said Jerry Frantz, president of JumpStart Ventures. “Native’s platform has broad application across product development, sales, and marketing delivering practical and transformative consumer insights.”

“Native’s dedication to pushing limits and creating something truly exceptional with proven ROI attracted us immediately,” said Scott Kraege, general partner at Ivy Ventures. “The ability to apply both proprietary and first-party insights breaks the mold of what’s possible in traditional consumer research. Frank and Sarah have built a remarkable team around their platform. At this stage, we know a company’s strongest predictors of success are its founders, and Native’s are absolutely no exception.”

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