News & Analysis

Steve Baxter is backing an AI venture that tackles the one thing everyone in business hates: meetings

- June 4, 2019 2 MIN READ

Notiv cofounders Chris Raethke and Dr Iain McCowan. Source: supplied

When it comes to solving problems, there’s a big one nearly everyone in business can agree on: meetings.
It starts with who’s going to take notes. A new venture, Notiv, from tech industry veterans Chris Raethke and Dr Iain McCowan is hoping to solve that issue using artificial intelligence and take it to the next level by extracting insights from the discussions.

Their idea has the support of Steve Baxter’s Transition Level Investments, which has jointly tipped AU$1.4 million into the project alongside Full Circle VC and Black Sheep Capital, less than a year after the venture came into being.

Notiv uses AI and digital signal processing technologies as it records and transcribes the conversation around the table in meetings whether it’s on the phone, online or in person. It can also be used for presentations, interviews or pitches.

Raethke, co-founder of Bugcrowd, leveraged his experiences working with the likes of Spotify and Salesforce, when he formed the partnership with McCowan, a 20-year veteran of speech and language technologies, last year.
Raethke is Notiv’s CEO with McCowan as CTO.
Since they opened up the technology as a private beta, Notiv has been used in more than 1500 meetings in 60 US and Australian businesses, ranging from freelancers to consultancies and international IT firms.
Users pay a US$29 monthly subscription fee to use Notiv.
“Technology is an enabler, a tool. Great tools can make us more efficient, empowered and creative. I believe technology should allow us to focus more and give us time back in our day,” Raethke said.
McCowan said inefficient business meetings are an “age-old problem”, but the technologies they’re using now “we were only dreaming about in research labs 10 years ago”.

Unfortunately Notiv doesn’t yet stop someone in a meeting going off on a tangent, but it does summarise the meeting, and lets you share important notes or moments with your team and clients

Steve Baxter believes Notiv has the ability to tackle a global problem, which is what encouraged him to invest.

“The cost of inefficient meetings is billions in the US alone, representing an opportunity to drive real innovation not just in Australia, but globally,” he said.
The funding will be used to scale the product and expand both the Australian and US teams.

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