Published on September 14, 2023
Last week we announced our investment into Ellie. Ellie is our 7th addition to the Newion IV portfolio and our first investment in a Finnish company, exciting! Below you find an outline of our investment thesis, written by Denisa Koci, analyst here at Newion.
November 2022 – that is when we packed our warmest coats, gloves, and heavy winter boots and headed to the Slush conference in Finland. Among the slushy streets of Helsinki, the karaoke bars, and long lists of exciting start-ups, we came across a company called Ellie.ai. When first visiting their website, the following words appeared: “Data Products Done Right”. This peaked our interest so we had to find out more.
In our first conversation with the CEO Johannes Hovi, we got quite excited about the vision of the company: allowing business- and technical users within an organization to collaborate on data modeling which is the practice that creates a blueprint of the digital information that has to go into a data product.
So what are data products anyway? A dashboard that helps to visualize company KPIs, a categorization of customer feedback per product type are some simple examples of data products that organizations can extract valuable insights from. Essentially, every organization needs them and constantly tries to build them. However, successful data products require a structured and systematic approach to understanding the data and the problem at hand. And this is where data modeling comes in handy: it helps businesses create a simplified representation of real-world data and its relationships.
In practice, this is not an easy task. In fact, many businesses fail to extract the value out of it due to poor data modeling practices. Typically, data products are sent to data specialists who are equipped with the tools and expertise to deliver insights. However, a lot gets lost in translation leading to erroneous data projects as business users are the ones holding the contextual knowledge regarding how various concepts and data are connected to one another. Gartner found that 80% of data projects struggle to provide business value. No wonder many recent articles state “data modeling is a lost art”. The current way of approaching it is simply inefficient!
This is where Ellie’s vision and product come in: it puts business users in the equation in order to ensure that “data products are done right”. With a strong and enthusiastic team and collaborating with Crowberry Capital in the investment round, we are very excited for what’s to come and excited to have an excuse to put on our winter coats and boots to visit them in Helsinki.