San Francisco-based autonomous optimization company Evolv Technologies announced it raised $10 million in Series A funding and it acquired Sentient Technologies Holdings Ltd. spinoff Sentient Ascend — which is one of the leading autonomous experience optimization solutions for websites and mobile applications. The $10 million Series A round of funding was led by Horizons Ventures. Michael Scharff was also recently named the CEO of Evolv Technologies.
Sentient Technologies Holdings Ltd. also spun out its investment business Sentient Investment Management and sold its Learning and Evolutionary Algorithm Framework (LEAF) platform to Cognizant Technology Solutions. So this purchase completes the divestiture of Sentient Technologies Holdings Ltd.
With this funding round, Evolv is going to scale the Ascend business and grow its engineering and data science teams and expand capacity within its sales and customer success operations while meeting increasing customer demand.
Ascend is an evolutionary AI SaaS platform that enables marketers to simultaneously test multiple potential improvements to their websites and mobile apps in order to allow for experimentation to be carried out at a scale that was not achieved before. The technology automates the experimentation process and accelerates the path to improved website performance and saving significant resource costs.
There are a number of leading enterprises that use Ascend to accelerate their website testing and optimization programs like Verizon, Celebrity Cruises, Eagle Retailing Corporation, Clicksco, Essent, Energie Direct, Landal Greenparks, and Innogy.
Evolv has direct sales and representative offices in Austin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Seoul, and Brisbane. And the company also partners with a number of leading agencies, consultancies, and system integrators like Cognizant, Rakuten Marketing LLC Group, Intralink, and Neural Digital for delivering Ascend solutions to enterprises around the world.
Scharff has more than two decades of digital commerce and retail experiences at the company. And he has built and managed highly-successful omnichannel and global eCommerce businesses. And he also led experienced teams in merchandising, digital marketing, innovation, business development, and enterprise strategy. Scharff previously held senior executive positions at Sears Canada, Toys R Us, Staples, Best Buy and the good guys! And he also worked as an advisor and board member for a number of enterprise technology companies over the last ten years.
“We’re delighted to have Michael join and lead the team at Evolv to further accelerate the growth of the Ascend business,” said Evolv’s chairman of the board and Horizons Ventures advisor Bart Swanson. “Having lived in the shoes of our customers, he’s uniquely positioned to understand and serve their complex needs and as a result, further accelerate the company’s revenue growth.”