The startup, headquartered in Cleveland, offers hundreds of companies—including British bank Barclays and consumer products giant Nestlé—a new way to conduct market research. Rather than relying on focus groups or broad, static surveys, Remesh enables companies to draw insights from a dynamic and open-ended “conversation” with up to 1,000 people in a single session. Remesh’s A.I. software can automatically extract key themes and, by posing a series of questions based on prior responses, even derive a caucus-like consensus.
Andrew Konya, Remesh’s cofounder, initially conceived of the technology as a way to give voice to people in conflict zones, coming up with its commercial applications as a way to fund the company’s social impact work. Konya moonlighted as a consultant with the United Nations while establishing the company, and Remesh soon came to the attention of the UN’s innovation cell. The international body has now used its software in peace-building: In Libya, the UN deployed Remesh to assess various stakeholders’ opinions of a proposed interim government. In Yemen, the software allowed the UN to investigate perceptions of a nationwide cease-fire, prospects for a future peace process, and views on what actions were most needed to alleviate humanitarian suffering, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The software keeps the participants’ responses anonymous, so they can be honest without fear of reprisals. The UN says it is now considering using the software to help resolve conflicts in Sudan, Mali, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
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General Catalyst, North Coast Ventures, LionBird