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Nashville AI startup hires former Deutsche bank executive
The high-powered hire brings "an amazingly powerful network and an in-depth understanding of global compliance and regulatory frameworks"
From email accounts, to cell phones to search engines, Google is embedded into many of our everyday lives. It's hard to believe the multi-billion dollar, publicly-traded tech giant was once referred to as a startup. But as with most businesses, it had humble beginnings. In fact, its story features some of the tech industry’s favorite hallmarks — a garage and Stanford student founders.
In early 2001, the students hired Eric Schmidt to help them scale. Needless to say, Schmidt was successful. Three years after the Silicon Valley vet took helm, Google IPO’d.
“Darvis has certainly sparkled, but with Michael we can truly shine,” says Mohr. “He brings an amazingly powerful network and an in-depth understanding of the compliance and regulatory frameworks we must navigate in order to scale.”
Dietz’s onboarding also included an investment in the cutting-edge company. The executives declined to disclose the exact dollar amount. However, they did reveal Darvis, which has already raised $11.7 million, will be closing on a separate seven figureround sometime in Q4.
“Michael and his investor network has already been an instrumental asset as we finalize this investment round,” says Mohr.
Dietz will call the company’s Hamburg office home base, but his new role will have him traveling to its Nashville HQ and three other offices — located in London, Pakistan and Poznan — “frequently.”
Dr. Michael Dietz
The financier spent 31-years — his entire career — at the world renowned bank before parting ways in January.
“I never intended to be there as long as I was,” Dietz says. “I’m actually an engineer. I took a job there after graduation as a credit account manager and expected to stay one or two years, but the banking industry has a strong hold on people.”
Dietz holds two engineering degrees — an Industrial and Mechanical — from Technical University of Darmstadt, a prestigious engineering institution known for its application-oriented approach. Schlueter likens it to, “the MIT of Germany.”
During his tenure at Deutsche, Dietz held a total of six titles, four of those titles were executive titles — Global Head of Trade Finance Flow, Head of Corporate Banking for Switzerland, Head of Corporate Banking for Western Germany and Head of Corporate Banking for Auto Group and Industrials America.
“We know that if we want more USPSs, more Airbus’s, more Bosch’s, more University of Miami’s compliance is key,” explains Schlueter. “There is no one better to help us navigat that than Michael.”
“I’m excited to bring my corporate expertise to such a profound and exciting entrepreneurial endeavor,” Dietz says. “The J’s (referring to Jan and Jan) have done an incredible job growing the company thus far.”
Darvis which stands for Data Analytics Real-world Intelligence System” is a productivity as a platform (PaaS) company. Its main software, OmniRoom, combines computer vision and AI to locate and analyze objects to provide real-time insights.
For example, in hospitals, OmniRoom is used to track equipment (e.g. hospital beds and surgical equipment) and determine its state. Where is the surgical equipment? Has it been sanitized?
Rather than a nurse or doctor, wasting 15-20 min, running around the hospital searching for the surgical set they need — only to find out that it hasn’t been sterilized — Darvis’s technology can instantly identify the location of the equipment and whether or not it has been sterilized.
Healthcare providers also use OmniRoom to detect and prevent patient falls, explains Schlueter.
“When nurses aren’t in the room, fragile patients will try and get up out of bed — whether that’s to go for a walk, the bathroom, or any number of activities,” he says. “Unfortunately, this often ends in the patient taking a tumble and suffering from severe injuries.”
“OmniRoom can detect when a patient is trying to get up out of bed and alert the closest staff member who can then rush to the room before the patient falls,” adds Mohr.
Each year U.S. hospitals spend $34 million in direct costs related to patient falls. If OmniRoom prevents just one fall in a hospital, it saves the facility $40,000.
Logistics companies like USPS leverage Darvis’s technology to track packages, monitor traffic (what times are the post offices the busiest), detect the capacity of containers (is the mail bin almost full).
“Darvis empowers these companies to make data-driven decisions as opposed to just decisions with their guts,” says Dietz.
Like Google in 2001, Darvis is hoping its strategic high-powered hire will help them scale and attract more big name clients like Airbus, Bosch, USPS and the University of Miami.
Schlueter adds that Darvis is ready to retire the term “startup.”
“There comes a time when that term hinders a company from working with larger corporations,” he says. “It implies you do not have the safeguards or experience to work with international organizations.”
Darvis has already scaled significantly over the last 12 months. The company has added 30 to its seventy person team and doubled its revenue year-over-year.
“Michael will amplify and expand upon our momentum,” says Mohr, who hopes to add at least three Fortune 500 clients by the end of Q4 and 25 to the company’s headcount.
“I’m confident that we will turn Darvis into one of the world’s leading AI companies,” says Dietz.