We meet the ambitious Scottish startup inspired by a Serbian-American engineer who lent his name to a car

Tell us about your start up
Net AI is a real-time network analytics company revolutionising cloud-based virtual network management, to help telecom companies generate significantly higher profit margins. Our key differentiator is a combination of a patent-pending analytics framework and an AI-based prediction engine, which facilitates insights into network usage on a real-time basis, fuelling the automation of network and compute resource management.

The company is currently exploring collaboration opportunities with early adopters of our technology in the telecom space worldwide.

What is your USP, how do you stand out from your competition?
Net AI exists at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud-based telecom. We use AI and Machine Learning to break down the massive data traffic streams generated in today’s mobile networks into individual service demands. We provide the intelligence that enables efficient allocation and dynamic optimisation of resources, lowering Network Operators’ CAPEX and OPEX while enabling new and highly profitable services such as low latency gaming, autonomous cars, augmented reality, and industrial automation. These highly anticipated 5G mobile services need their own dedicated networks, but this approach does not scale. Instead, mobile operators will use network slicing over 5G to deliver custom resources on a per-service basis.

However, without deep knowledge of the traffic flowing over these 5G network slices, it is impossible to efficiently manage the virtual resources required to support end to end quality, and therefore monetise these services. Our Microscope solution is an AI driven software module that addresses this critical information need. Unlike conventional packet-based traffic analysis, Microscope is fully automated, scalable, encryption-agnostic, and cloud-native, which means that it supports cost-optimised and efficient cloud-based network resource delivery, enabling new, high margin revenue streams for 5G mobile operators.

What is your relationship with the telecom sector?

We are engaging with
1) mobile network operators who seek to meet their customers’ demand in a cost-effective way using intelligent solutions;
2) cloud computing companies and telecom OEMs that recognise their customers face new challenges that can be tackled with AI solutions, but AI may not be their core business;
3) professional services companies that seek to understand what service is relevant where, how to automate operations, and to mitigate high customer churn.

Net AI – Converge Challenge 2021 from Paul on Vimeo.

How have you got to your current stage of development
We have received early-stage support from Innovate UK through the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme and from Scottish Enterprise through the High-growth Spinout Programme (HGSP), which enabled us to carry out a preliminary market discovery and advance the development of our technology. We were also part of the AI Post-covid Accelerator funded by the Scottish Funding Council via the Data-Driven Innovation Programme of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal. We have recently closed a £750,000 pre-seed investment round led by Techstart Ventures, with Nauta Capital, Creator Fund, Old College Capital, and Edinburgh Technology Fund also participating.

Why did you establish the business?
We formed in 2020 as a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh, building on years of research at the intersection of mobile networking and artificial intelligence, conducted at one of Europe’s leading computer science research centres.

We believe everyone should have equal job and education opportunities and affordable mobile connectivity can enable this while birthing many new industries, which is one of the reasons for establishing our business. Further, the ICT infrastructure contributes an important fraction of the global carbon emissions. While networks are increasingly built in software, we believe real-time traffic analytics can underpin the optimisation of network loads and the reduction of energy consumption, which is another driver for starting Net AI.

Who inspired you / who is your mentor or motivation?

I’m an engineer by training and I’ve always stood in awe of Nikola Tesla, a pioneer of the alternating current electrical system that is pervasive today, wireless communications, and X-ray technology.

What does the future hold for your business
We hope to attract the brightest and best talent in telecom AI, and create the market-leading platform for decomposition and deep analysis of traffic on telecommunication networks.

Based: Edinburgh, Scotland
Employees: 8
Funding: Pre-seed