Lynk, a “knowledge-as-a-service” platform that connects domain-specific experts with businesses, has raised $24 million in a round of funding to expand in the U.S.
While there are myriad platforms and tools that unlock insights from vast swathes of data, Lynk offers an AI-powered engine that indexes “knowledge domains” and vetted experts to find answers to the questions businesses are asking.
Founded out of Hong Kong in 2015, Lynk claims more than 840,000 experts spanning just about every business vertical. Want to know what the current available cold-chain capacity is like in India and Southeast Asia to support supply of vaccines, or whether reduced oil prices affected demand for electric vehicles? Or what about how wellness trends and social distancing requirements will impact commercial real estate development? These are the types of questions that Lynk is setting out to help answer.
Companies can use Lynk in a number of ways. They can manually search for experts or browse trending topics to find someone suitable that’s relevant to the topics they wish to discuss. Lynk’s AI-powered data engine generates what Lynk founder and CEO Peggy Choi calls a “multi-dimensional” relevance score. “Customers can ask recommended experts a couple of questions and then decide to engage in a conversation using our platform,” Choi told VentureBeat. “Our team is also available to help customers along the way. The relevance score and the human-in-the-loop approach operate such that, the more questions come in, the more data we have around the topics and the experts. Essentially, the platform is getting smarter over time.”
Above: Lynk: Example expert profile
It’s worth noting that users can also search for answers directly from transcriptions of their previous conversations, which Lynk automatically generates using speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) and indexes for easy search and reference. This also helps Lynk determine its relevance score, as it can analyze conversations to extract data points and figure out the knowledge domains that experts are most closely aligned with.
At its core, Lynk helps businesses circumvent information overload and find direct channels to those with the right knowledge. And from this, customers can build their own searchable database.
“Our knowledge-as-a-Service platform powers a range of next-generation tools for knowledge sharing and management, and the use cases are only growing,” Choi said. “It’s exciting to see how our customers are pioneering these solutions to manage their own knowledge and digital transformation needs.”
Above: Lynk: User portal search
In terms of the competitive landscape, Lynk founder and CEO Peggy Choi refers to the space as “human expertise,” an expansive environment constituting everything from traditional consultancies and Q&A forums, to market research firms and enterprise knowledge management solutions. “Our platform is very different,” Choi explained. “At Lynk, we’re building a knowledge-as-a-kervice platform that provides human expertise at scale. Traditional expert networks and consultancies only focus on transactions with a specific end market segment, but we’re creating a whole ecosystem.”
Prior to now, Lynk had raised $6 million, and with another $24 million in the bank, the company said that it plans to expand beyond Asia where it has seen its sales growth over the past year, to double down on the U.S. market. The company’s latest funding round was led by Brewer Lane Ventures and MassMutual Ventures, with participation from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund.
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