Hearts aflutter – capturing emotion via robotics and AI


As consumers become increasingly time-pressed, brands have to fight for their share of attention using robotics, AI and heat mapping algorithms to capture their emotions. Zoya Malik, Managing Editor SME met David Mitchell CEO, Dragonfly and Matt Bunn, Partner & co-founder, Capita Scaling Partner to find out about Dragonfly’s tech investment and its partnership to ensure the start-up can grow and optimise delivering on its clients’ consumer-facing briefs

Questions to David Mitchell, CEO, Dragonfly:

 Zoya: What is the problem Dragonfly is solving?

David: Dragonfly provides instant analysis of content with precision definition showing what the human brain sees first. In its pre-cognitive state the brain functions with universal processes modelled by QMUL using 5 neural pathways to help humanity filter content and identify content of high salient value. Dragonfly uses this algorithmic formula to process any content ingested into the visual analysis platform. The result is we can instantly see if our content is delivering what we expect or aim to deliver and if no supports iterative design to ensure human ready optimisation. In a vastly cluttered content environment with 211m items of new content being created every 60 seconds dragonfly plays a vital role in the automation of creative metrology and performance improvements.

Zoya: Why is this partnership timely?

David: After several years in beta and nine months since Dragonfly Technology Solutions was launched we have landed some of the best known brands in the market – Capita bring vast business support and structure to our plans to scale along with access to the full range of their business services and ultimately to over 6,000 brand clients.

Zoya: Which business segments are taking up your services?

David: Typically our clients are in shopper marketing (product design and packaging, off shelf marketing and POS), Digital, eCommerce, VOD, retail, CPG – brands looking to leverage categories.

Zoya: How is Dragonfly funded?

David: We are funded through licence revenue and a friends and family funding round – we believe business liquidity is vital to our consolidated growth.

Zoya: What are the challenges for scaling up?

David: Scaling is all about making choices – around people, hiring, rate of tech innovation, international expansion and matching markets with disruptive AI tech is challenging as brands try to work out how to adapt their processes to leverage technology like Dragonfly. Making these calls requires us to think through each in terms of its cost and time benefit and weigh each up; and take a few bold calculated risks. The Capita knowledge base is hugely helpful to give us access to expertise as we navigate the growth opportunities.

Zoya: What is the partnership with Capita? How will this be successful?

David: Capita are providing three years of defined management support and dedicate business growth with support to opening up the solution to their divisions and end user clients. We believe it will rapidly force multiply our growth.

Questions to Matt Bunn, Partner & co-founder of Capita Scaling Partner, Capita

Zoya: What criteria do start-ups need to meet to become a Scaling Partner?

Matt: We look for

Innovative, disruptive technology

Business to Business companies that are strategically aligned to Capita in a sector where we can add significant value (HR Tech, FinTech, InsurTech, Data/AI.

Companies that have the potential for significant growth in the market that can be accelerated through a strategic relationship with Capita.

Businesses that have a great team led by experienced and passionate founders

Zoya: How has Dragonfly AI qualified?

Matt: In December 2018, Capita Scaling Partner and TechMarketView worked together to find UK technology companies who were looking to revolutionise the customer management / customer experience market. This is where we met Dragonfly AI who ticked all the boxes above!

We loved the fact that:

  • They are applying AI in an area that has not previously been used
  • Their user interface is straight forward, friendly and easy to use
  • They have great case studies and have delivered great outcomes for household names like GSK, Hachette, McDonalds and NBC Universal

Zoya: What is Capita looking for in the partnership?

Matt: We are excited to bring this innovative tech solution to our clients. Dragonfly AI is visually engaging, and the value is so apparent that we are looking forward to some high value conversations. We have already had many exciting conversations with Capita clients. The Dragonfly technology is instantly addictive and compelling with a wide range of use cases – we have been applying it to things as far ranging as checking which road signs stand out more than others on the commute to work; comparing the saliency of football kits; and looking at website design for corporate and ecommerce clients.

Zoya: How is Capita Scaling Partner competing with traditional funding institutions?

Matt: We don’t compete – we are complementary! We work in close partnership with a number of funding institutions, who love the growth we bring to their portfolio companies.

Start-ups get tangible support from Capita Scaling Partner that is perfectly aligned with them and their growth ambitions. We provide a wide variety of services, including for example hands on sales support (each start-up receives a dedicated, experienced, full time resource from us); introductions to our 7000 clients; help with presentations and marketing materials; and help with operational scaling. This means that when our partners do need funding, the need for big investments in certain areas is minimised and the investment risk is significantly reduced.

Zoya: What are future partnerships, plans and available funds for future start-ups?

Matt: We have no plans to offer funds – but we are always open to partnerships with any relevant start-ups that we can add substantial value to. We currently have start-ups in FinTech, InsurTech and HRTech and are always looking to work with great companies in our core markets.