Artificial intelligence has taken on an immeasurable importance in our daily lives. We are at the beginning of its rise. It allows many tech companies to optimize, predict and target with greater precision. Interview with Charles-Antoine Giuliani, founder of Synaplus solutions.
What is Synaplus? What is its history and purpose?
Synaplus is an AI deeptech that I founded in 2014. Synaplus' goal is to democratize and accelerate AI and data science projects. We enable customers to predict, detect, optimize or prioritize business actions thanks to AI (i.e. predicting that a prospect may become a customer or detecting fraud).
After 7 years of R&D, we have developed a software (COsMO Engine) that automates the entire data science pipeline: it allows to perform an AI project about 10 times faster than with current tools, without having to program and especially without needing any other tool. All you need is data (file, database) and computing power (a Linux server) to get a result.
We joined the X-Tech gas pedal at the beginning of May 2021 in order to prepare our development on a European and then global scale with our technology.
The most important thing to move forward is to challenge yourself and have confidence. Charles-Antoine Giuliani, founder of Synaplus.
What type of technology do you use on a daily basis?
More structurally, the solution is organized in micro-services and driven by an AI.
Tell us about your background and that of your partners. How did you meet?
After graduating from X (X/Ponts 94), and before founding Synaplus, I worked at the Treasury, the World Bank and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
The board is very experienced with the presence of Michel Bastide as a CEO (more than 30 years of experience in the creation and the development of engineering companies) and of Lionel D'Aauriac as CFO (more than 20 years in consulting and financial and accounting expertise). Our R&D team is made up of very sharp engineers who all have double degrees in computer science and AI.
I met Michel in early 2017 when he was in the process of selling his engineering company to a group that was hosting Synaplus as part of the Réseau Entreprendre. We quickly realized that we shared the same values as well as a strong attraction for technology and innovation. He joined us in early 2018, first as an Advisor and then as CEO, six months later. Michel and Lionel worked for over 10 years together and Lionel was a natural fit to complete the techno-commercial-financial balance we needed to move forward.
What are your expectations/feedback on your recent integration to X tech?
We have several expectations. One is the possibility of finding new talents and cooperation in R&D in the research ecosystem installed on Saclay. We will be organizing several sessions to present our work to raise awareness and train students and researchers on campus about our project approach and COsMO Engine.
The other expectation is to prepare and train ourselves for a first fundraising: this will involve an increase in skills (training, feedback, etc.) and contacts (Venture Capital, etc.)
Today, there are many incubators, why did you choose the one at Ecole Polytechnique?
We have already been in different incubators during the R&D phase. To prepare for an acceleration like we are planning, we need an ecosystem capable of understanding our technological value (at a very high level of research because we consider our technology higher than our best competitors in China or the USA) to give us credibility. On a more personal note, coming back after so many years on campus allows me to reconnect with new generations and try to transmit my passion for AI and technology.
In the current context with the downturn in business due to the pandemic, how have you adapted your offering?
Covid affected our customers directly and delayed most of the projects we were working on by 6 months. We were fortunate to be considered as a partner rather than a supplier by these customers, who maintained their investments and their confidence during this period. We spent these 6 months strengthening our R&D with the arrival of 2 new engineers.
What are your next steps? Do you plan to develop other projects in the near future?
We arrive as a disruptive solution on a market where the first 5 solutions are made in the USA and are all valued between 1 and 50 billion dollars. Our ambition is to be one of the European leaders in AI with a global vocation. All our current efforts are focused on preparing for this conquest. The next major step will be to raise funds in 2022 to support this conquest.
What would you say to project leaders like you for the future?
At the end of the day, I would tell them exactly the same thing we tell our clients when they are confronted with AI projects: test and learn. As an entrepreneur, whatever your background and experience, you learn by walking. Objectively, it's not a path of rose petals, you make mistakes, you constantly adjust.