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Seed Scout #16: Adaptive ML Promises To Fix Enterprise GenAI Fails

Also inside: Etienne Boutan breaks down the strategy behind Intuition, a €15 million early-stage fund focused on consumer and creator tech; and Hot Seed Deals.

Welcome to Seed Scout which takes you inside France’s early-stage startup scene. As a reminder, this newsletter is free. Upgrade to a paid membership to get full access to all the articles and archives!

In this edition:

Chris O'Brien & Helen O'Reilly-Durand

The French Tech Journal

Seed Of The Week: Adaptive ML

Adaptive ML co-founders (l to r): Daniel Hesslow (Research Scientist), Axel Marmet (RL Wizard), Olivier Cruchant (Lead Technical Product Manager), Baptiste Pannier (CTO), Julien Launay (CEO), Alessandro Cappelli (Research Scientist).

As companies scramble to understand and deploy Generative AI, the much-hyped technology is proving to be a difficult beast to tame. That has created an opening for startups that can help enterprises refine their GenAI services to realize the potential for greater automation and efficiencies.

Adaptive ML, one of these new breeds of startups building an ecosystem of tools around Large Language Models, has raised a $20 million Seed Round to accelerate the development of a service that addresses this GenAI pain point. With co-headquarters in New York City and Paris, the startup must now turn an early beta into a solid product as the market for such services continues to evolve at a furious pace.

“When we first chatted with companies, we asked them what kind of difficulties they were having with their GenAI deployments,” said Adaptive ML Co-Founder and CEO Julien Launay. “Typically, we heard the same thing, which is that they tried something, but they are struggling to get the level of performance they want, and they don’t see a path forward to get to something that will deliver what they expect. What we said with our platform is that this is an environment that helps to get the results you want, to use the feedback to get the model to be better day after day, week after week.”

Investor Spotlight:
Intuition Partner Etienne Boutan

Intuition General Partners and Co-Founders Hugo Amsellem (left) and Etienne Boutan.
Intuition General Partners and Co-Founders Hugo Amsellem (left) and Etienne Boutan.

Investing in consumer tech startups over the past couple of years has frightened away most VCs. But the co-founders of a new Paris-based early-stage fund believe that has left the playing field wide open.

In launching Intuition, Etienne Boutan and Hugo Amsellem are zigging as others are zagging. As interest rates rose, and the economy soured, the conventional wisdom took hold that the barriers were too high for building and scaling consumer startups. Along with 3 other venture partners, the team is in the process of raising a €15 million fund and building a community-based approach to finding and backing the most promising consumer startups.

“If you're a consumer investor and you're backing early-stage deals, there's no competition,” Boutan said. “There’s more opportunity to get into a better company at a great valuation.”

Hot Seed Deals 🔥

NcodiN co-founders (left to right): Fabrice Raineri, Francesco Manegatti, and Bruno Garbin.
NcodiN co-founders (left to right): Fabrice Raineri, Francesco Manegatti, and Bruno Garbin.

What: NcodiN is developing optical-based technology to dramatically speed communication between semiconductors, a method that should increase computing power for uses such as artificial intelligence.

Why: The company's nanolasers and nanodetectors will enable faster data transfer that should allow companies to scale up their supercomputing architectures.

Funding:  €3.5 million
Who: Co-Founders are CEO Francesco Manegatti, CSO Fabrice Raineri, and CTO Bruno Garbin.

Investors: Elaia, Earlybird, and OVNI Capital

What's next: Founded in 2023, NcodiN has participated in the Agoranov incubator and three accelerator programs: 21st by CentraleSupélec, Wilco, and Intel Ignite). The company will use the new cash to build its team and expand R&D.

What: Hylé is developing a blockchain-based platform to improve security for scalability and privacy.

Why: The protocol enables companies to verify the identity and authenticity of something without revealing sensitive information.

Funding: €2.4 million
Who: Co-Founders are Sylve Chevet and Lancelot de Ferrière le Vayer

Investors: Heartcore Capital, Frst, Nicolas Bacca, Fabric Ventures, StarkWare Industries, Framework Ventures, Robin Davids, Cherry Crypto, Batuhan Dasgin, Uma Roy, and Richard Yuen.

What's next: The startup will use the funding to launch its first version and recruit additional backend experts and protocol engineers.

What: Harvy is a decentralized delivery application that helps agricultural producers organize their shipping and distribution to customers such as restaurants.

Why: Producers can eliminate the need for third-party intermediaries whose fees can make it hard to earn a profit on agricultural products. By creating a shared system controlled by farmers, the application should allow them to reach new customers and improve their bottom line.

Funding: €1 million
Who: Co-Founders are Louis Debusschere and James Terrien, who met via the Antler program in Paris.

Investors: Antler, Cedar, Getplace, Tivoli Capital, FBFC Family Office

What's next: The funding will be used to develop new features for the online platform and expand the team.

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