Visual analytics tool developed at Queen Mary receives further investment

DragonflyAI is the leading innovator within the predictive visual analytics sphere. The platform uses artificial intelligence informed by cutting edge neuroscience to accurately predict what consumers see first when they look at content.

The predictive visual analytics platform was developed at Queen Mary by the late Professor Peter W. McOwan and Dr Hamit Soyel within the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Using their groundbreaking technology, DragonflyAI is opening up new possibilities for companies that rely on the optimisation of visual engagement with its customers or clients, by giving them the real-time tools to see how effectively their design is engaging their audience. Existing clients comprise some of the biggest leading consumer brands including Harrod’s, GSK, Mitsubishi, Mars and Jaguar Landrover.

Downing Ventures is the lead investor in the recent funding round which includes existing shareholders Capita and private investors. Richard Mann, Executive Chair at DragonflyAI, said: “We’ve made great progress this year with our mission to ensure content performs better when enhanced by science and are excited about our future. Downing’s backing is a great endorsement of DragonflyAI’s team and our strategy. We’re excited to have Downing’s support at a perfect time to underpin our ongoing growth.”

The story of DragonflyAI
DragonflyAI was created following a chance encounter during a public talk at the Science Museum in London back in 2012. Dr Soyel, Chief Science Officer and Founding Inventor at DragonflyAI, said: “Professor Peter McOwan and I were speaking about robots at the Science Museum. Just before kicking off our presentation we decided to include some recent research on biologically inspired visual processing. There was a marketing specialist within the audience who saw the potential business opportunities for this research, and from this DragonflyAI was born.”

In the years that followed Dr Soyel worked closely with industry professionals and Queen Mary Innovation (QMI) to develop the product and commercialise the technology. In 2019 Dragonfly AI secured investment from Capita providing access to professional expertise and resources that allowed the business to grow to what it is today.

Dr Soyel now works two days a week at DragonflyAI as their Chief Science Officer, helping the company to identify new ways to grow and develop their product through scientific research. He said: “We’re now working on providing further insights to our users that will enable them to understand what captures their audience’s attention in order to create more effective marketing content.”

Supporting commercialisation of Queen Mary technology
QMI is Queen Mary’s wholly-owned technology transfer company and is responsible for the commercialisation and management of the University’s intellectual property and portfolio of spinout companies.

This year’s annual Entrepreneurial Impact report, published by Octopus Ventures recognised Queen Mary’s achievements in this area as the University retained its position as fourth in the country for converting its research into successful companies.