TextQL, led by co-founders Mark Hay and Ethan Ding, is on a mission to revolutionize corporate decision-making by infusing artificial intelligence into business data. The platform, launched in 2022, connects a company’s existing data stack to large language models, akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and GPT-4. This integration allows business teams to interact with their data using natural language queries, making every decision a data-driven one.
Mark Hay, TextQL’s CTO and former engineer on Facebook’s machine learning team, expressed dissatisfaction with the existing data landscape, stating that data leaders have been sold a “false promise” for 15 years. He highlighted the challenges faced by chief data officers and data scientists, including the time-consuming nature of one-off data requests and discrepancies in terminology across databases.
TextQL addresses these issues by using a data model to map a company’s database to the “nouns” representing business concepts, such as “order,” “item,” “dealer,” “SKU,” and more. The platform seamlessly integrates with business intelligence tools, guiding users to existing dashboards when a question has been previously asked. Additionally, TextQL can reference documentation from enterprise data catalogs and collaboration platforms like Alation, Confluence, or Google Drive.
Users can interact with TextQL through natural language queries, asking questions like “Can you show me a list of orders that were very late?” The platform’s automation component enables it to take actions based on queries, such as sending emails to managers about specific data insights.
TextQL’s customer base spans various industries, including healthcare, bio and life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, and media. The platform has garnered half a dozen customers, achieving an annual recurring revenue in the “six figures.” Despite economic challenges, Hay notes that companies are excited about TextQL’s potential to enhance productivity with lower head counts.
In terms of funding for this startup, TextQL has raised $4.1 million across pre-seed and seed rounds, co-led by Neo and DCM, with participation from Unshackled Ventures, Worklife Ventures, PageOne Ventures, FirstHand Ventures, and Indicator Fund. With a team of approximately 10 people, TextQL aims to provide enterprise operators with “superpowers” in a single platform, positioning itself against enterprise AI competitors like Palantir and C3.ai.