Innovation Fund Noord-Holland was launched by the Dutch province of Noord-Holland, University van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, and Sanquin, with support from the EU through the European Regional Development Fund.
The initiative assists entrepreneurs in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland by granting convertible loans to finance innovation at the Proof-of-Concept stage. By 2023, INH will have two funds – one fund for innovative starters, supported by RVO, and a second fund for academic starters, supported by EFRO.
SaaS platform for strategic procurement
Mithra-Ai was founded in 2021 by Arash Saberi, Christophe Frère, Rasa Raoufi, and Dennis van den Brand. It is a Cognitive Spend Intelligence SaaS platform that aims to make procurement teams stand out by taking on time-consuming, laborious (low value, high volume) tasks so that they can concentrate on making important decisions and realising value for their business.
Cognitive Spend Intelligence monitors invoices in real-time across product, vendor, and regional landscapes, while automatically classifying the spend.
By gathering, cleansing, and allocating transactional expenditure data to the appropriate categories, Mithra-Ai’s software enables procurement teams (with a large supply base) to achieve spend visibility 100 times faster, even with a small number of data points. Spending data that is complete, precise, and enhanced allows for the execution of new possibilities and provides buyers with insights for negotiating and strategic planning.
For every new transaction, Mithra-Ai uses a combination of machine learning with human-guided feedback and augmentation to maintain spending data accurately. According to the company, its technology will be applied across different industries for direct and indirect spend optimisations and help companies to save millions in spend.
Wouter Keij, Fund Manager at Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland, says, “The innovation Mithra-Ai is developing can create a big impact across different industries. The funding will allow the team to further integrate and develop their algorithms into a new platform.”
In a statement, co-founder Arash Saberi mentions that the funds will help the company in creating a “unique” technical capability to associate and harmonise various expenditure profiles across different entities of multinational organisations as well as between various businesses and even industries (at specific spend categories). Saberi says, “Spend Synergy capability is cracking a key data problem that many procurement teams face and will release the potential for optimising spend ‘holistically’ ensuring compliance with an organisation or group of organisations or industries which helps to create a win-win decision and avoid sub-optimisation, with an impactful contribution to our planet.”
Co-founder Christophe Frère adds, “During the Proof of Concept, we will further develop the Spend Synergy capability to incorporate feedback from users with the goal to deploy it across many industries and organisations of different sizes.”