31. Alyona Medelyan, CEO at Thematic

Name: Alyona Medelyan

Position: CEO

Company: Thematic

Website: https://getthematic.com/


Thematic (@getthematic) / X


About Alyona Medelyan and Thematic


Fifteen years ago, Medelyan foresaw AI’s potential in comprehending and translating textual data. She rebooted her educational plans, taking her from Ukraine to New Zealand, where she attained a Google-funded PhD. That led her to Y Combinator, the famed Silicon Valley tech startup accelerator, where investors saw the power of Medelyan’s ideas and helped her launch Thematic.

The idea for Thematic came from Medelyan’s consulting work after receiving her doctorate from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where she worked with renowned AI expert Dr. Ian Witten. Three clients almost simultaneously asked Medelyan to solve the same problem – tame their customer feedback data to decipher what drove their Net Promoter Score, a customer loyalty metric.

Her prototype solution led several companies to sign on as clients. That was enough for Medelyan to persuade her husband, software developer Nathan Holmberg, to leave his job and join her in building Thematic. They applied for and were approved for a slot in Y Combinator, where they learned the skills to develop the business and lined up $1.2 million from investors.

The company’s success represents a long journey from when Medelyan, even then an entrepreneur, got in trouble at her then-Soviet Union elementary school for selling stickers so she could buy apples.

Now, the company she co-founded has more than 65 clients. It has dozens of employees across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States while expanding and refining its solution, now with more than 100 integrations and incorporating generative AI. This year, Thematic has launched a groundbreaking innovation called Thematic Answers that dramatically shifts how decision-makers across the company can get insights into customer needs and perceptions from feedback across channels.




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