Motherbrain: The VC using AI to pick the next big start-up

Venture Capital firm EQT Ventures recently invested £2.86 million in WarDucks, a small Dublin-based gaming start-up. The company focuses on VR and AR mobile gaming, and has a team with backgrounds from the likes of Facebook’s gaming team.

But this investment really stands out because EQT Ventures found the start-up through its AI platform, Motherbrain. 

Henrik Landgren is EQT Ventures’ operating partner for analytics, and the man spearheading Motherbrain. The platform analyses data from around eight million start-ups across Europe and the US, helping VC firm find the right company to invest in. 

 “In Europe, there are 10 unicorns, maybe 12, created every year [private companies valued at $1 billion or more]. The pool, where those companies come from is millions of companies. For an investor, the question is, how can you identify the most promising start-ups first to be able to get as many of those 10 as possible?” explains Landgren.

Creating Motherbrain was huge way that EQT Ventures wanted to be different from other VC’s. The company’s strong focus in tech inspired this innovation. It stands to reason that an AI platform is a more effective way of carrying out startup analysis, a team of 25 people can only carry out so much work, but a research platform can speed up that process.

Since its creation, Motherbrain has evolved into a data research platform, and a place where the team makes its decisions. 

“We record everything and that allows us to apply AI. And then we can predict what we want to do, and automate all the analysis and work we do on companies out there,” says Landgren. 

With ever decision the team makes, the platform gets better and better. Motherbrain goes beyond just using tech to automate the boring, admin work, training it to make better decisions and utilising it’s potential to analyse more factors than a human could. “We’re not outsourcing the whole thing to an algorithm, instead we’re integrating it into our process.”