Dutch company Deeploy, which provides oversight of artificial intelligence (AI) applications for companies in the financial and healthcare sectors, has raised a total of 2.5 million euros in investment funding. Existing investor Curiosity has been joined by four new investors, including SI3 Fund, an impact investment fund committed to achieving both financial and social returns. With this new funding, Deeploy can continue to build and enhance its platform to ensure that the implementation of AI models in everyday practice is transparent and allows for human oversight.
Deeploy uses proprietary software to make AI explainable and transparent for companies, their customers, and regulators. As the use of artificial intelligence continues to gain momentum, it has proven to be a powerful tool in making unbiased judgements and promoting transparency. In the financial sector, for example, AI is considered a suitable tool for objectively assessing a credit application, detecting fraud and money laundering (AML) as it is inherently free from (unconscious) bias. Additionally, AI can promote transparency since financial institutions can easily justify to a loan applicant why a credit application has or has not been granted. Similarly, in healthcare, AI is used to personalize treatment pathways, leading to more effective and efficient treatment for patients. Maarten Stolk, CEO and co-founder of Deeploy, states, "AI applications are dynamic and often self learning, which yields the risk of becoming black boxes to end users. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the development of AI, as well as keeping AI-driven business operations explainable with the help of so called explainability methods, for example towards customers of in the context of compliance”.
Responsible use of AI
With the 2.5 million euros in funding, Deeploy plans to expand its platform in anticipation of upcoming European regulations and further European expansion. Deeploy also plans to expand its implementation team with the help of the secured investments. Currently employing 20 individuals, half of whom are dedicated to product development, Deeploy is well positioned to cater the needs of its diverse clientele, which includes healthcare pension fund PGGM, comparison website Independer, asset manager Brand New Day and mental health platform NiceDay and fintech bank Bunq. Bunq recently won a high-profile court case against the Dutch financial regulator which allowed Bunq to expand its use of AI for AML screening. Deeploy’s software is helping Bunq to make sure this happens in a transparent and explainable way.
Deeploy and its investors firmly believe that oversight and transparency are fundamental requirements for the responsible use of artificial intelligence. “With the arrival of AI applications such as the latest version of ChatGPT, we see that the need for explainability and transparency is becoming increasingly loud in society,” says Pieter Oostlander, co-founder and partner of the Shaping Impact Group, under which the SI3 Fund operates. “Because AI learns from human input, human biases can potentially be reproduced. If that happens, artificial intelligence can actually exacerbate inequality in society, especially when those affected are simply dismissed with the statement 'computer says no.'"
Impact focused investor consortium
The founders of Deeploy are delighted to have found a good match with their investors on their vision. Deeploy CEO Stolk states, "We actively sought investors who would be involved in the long term and actively contribute to optimizing the positive societal effects of our product." Next to SI3, Amsterdam-based AI-investor Curiosity VC - who provided Deeploy first capital’s round in 20221 - is also participating in the round. Spanish VC fund Bonsai Partners, impact investor Emilia Capital and angel investor Anton Loeffen complete the investor consortium.
Deeploy helps companies implement machine learning models safely and responsibly. Deeploy's clients, particularly those in the financial and healthcare sectors, can effectively utilize AI applications without compromising on transparency, control, and compliance. The company was founded in 2020 by Maarten Stolk (CEO), Bastiaan van de Rakt (CCO), Tim Kleinloog (CTO), and Nick Jetten (CMO), all of whom have been involved in AI for 10 to 20 years. Deeploy currently has around twenty employees and is headquartered in Utrecht, situated on the Oudegracht.