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A Washington state-based startup, Docugami, has secured $US10 million seed funding to help develop am AI based platform that promises to transform how businesses create and manage documents for greater productivity, compliance, and insight.

Docugami also announced that Bob Muglia, former CEO of Snowflake and former head of both Microsoft’s Office and Azure businesses, is joining the company as a major investor and board member.

Additional investors in the seed funding round include luminaries in the advanced document technology sector, as well as leading-edge document users, including: Greg Badros, former head of Google Apps.

Founded in March 2018 by former Microsoft executive Jean Paoli and four other senior engineering leaders from Microsoft, Docugami harnesses a wide range of artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, image recognition, declarative markup, and other approaches, to enable businesses of all sizes to radically improve how they create and manage documents for greater insight, efficiency, and business impact.

Unlike other companies that require expensive and time-consuming machine learning on massive sets of big data, Docugami focuses on the “small data” that is unique to each company. Docugami says its solutions do not require customers to implement expensive new systems or change their business processes; instead, they are designed to work seamlessly with customers’ existing systems such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365. More information about Docugami’s vision and approach is available in an open letter to the industry.

Jean Paoli, chief executive officer of Docugami, said, “We are on a mission to solve the document and dark data issues that have plagued businesses of all sizes for decades, and this massive infusion of seed funding will enable us to expand our data science team to add product capabilities, and build our sales and marketing muscle to rapidly grow our customer base.”

 “We are excited to be making such an unusually large seed investment because we are so impressed with the world-class team of engineers, data scientists and business leaders Docugami has assembled,” said Ilya Kirnos, founding partner and chief technology officer at SignalFire. “The Docugami team helped create and deliver the document technology used by more than a billion people around the world today, and they have the vision and experience to transform how people use and think about documents for the next 20-30 years.”

“Over the coming decade, artificial intelligence will transform every industry. Business documents are the lifeblood of every company, yet today they are opaque to business systems and require constant interpretation and translation by frontline staff, legal professionals, and others,” said Muglia.

“Docugami is poised to redefine the process of business document creation and management, unlocking the information in those documents, and enabling executives and frontline employees to focus on what matters most to the business.”

“I have been exploring what we see as the potential for a seismic shift in how documents and contracts – the heart of business productivity - are created, understood and analyzed, powered by recent advances in artificial intelligence,” said Craig Hanson, General Partner at NextWorld Capital, an enterprise tech venture capital firm in San Francisco.

“In our thesis, the vision for the ‘future of work’ will require a rethinking of the core element of daily business workflows, the document, and this is now possible with AI. The Docugami team helped create the intelligent document revolution at Microsoft, and is now assembled to launch this next revolution.”

Docugami CEO Jean Paoli, a pioneer in the field of document engineering, is one of the inventors of XML and, during his time at Microsoft, started several billion-dollar businesses for the company: the XML effort, Microsoft InfoPath, the modern Microsoft Office file formats, and Microsoft’s open-source subsidiary that enabled today’s massive open source usage in Azure. Previously, he created two startups with INRIA, the famed National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation in France.

In addition to Paoli, co-founders include Andrew Begun, a founding member of InfoPath and an engineering manager in Windows; Taqi Jaffri, former principal product manager for Microsoft Business AI & Research; Mike Palmer, founding member of InfoPath and an engineering manager in Office; and Martin Sawicki, former engineering manager for Microsoft Office and Azure.

The Docugami science team is led by Luis Martí, an international expert in machine learning and evolutionary computing, and Steve DeRose, a renowned expert in natural language processing, computational linguistics, and standards related to document processing. The company’s business team is led by Alan Yates, who created the Microsoft worldwide partner program, and led sales and marketing for four successful startup companies before joining Docugami.

The $US10 million seed round brings Docugami’s total amount raised to $US11.7 million, which includes $US1.7 million in pre-seed funding provided by the founders.

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