By Nancy Dahlberg
While working with various large professional services firms, Timothy Keith saw a big opportunity. Much like Amazon uses AI to sell you other products their data suggests would appeal to you, AI can help these firms cross-sell their myriad services to drive organic, sustainable growth, he thought.
His new startup, Propense.ai, identifies new revenue streams for professional service businesses. Its B2B predictive sales intelligence model enables firms to efficiently maximize cross-selling revenue by analyzing historical and market data to reveal opportunities hiding in plain sight. Propense.ai is a Black-owned SaaS startup co-founded in January by Keith and Nnamdi Anyanwu, Propense’s CTO.
“We are a diverse Miami team building this platform supporting some of the some of the largest companies in the world already and we’re really excited to bring Propense.ai to market,” Keith, CEO of Propense.ai, said in an interview with Refresh Miami.
Keith, who moved from New York to Miami about seven years ago, first had the idea while working in a business development role with Kaufman Rossin and later at the Miami startup Introhive, where he developed strong relationships with large accounting firms.
In these roles, he learned that for these firms growing the clients they already have is critical but because professional service firms are so large and dispersed, it’s not easy. He also noticed all the mergers happening because of these struggles with growth.
“That’s when I realized there was such an opportunity to use AI to understand their clients better and serve them new services,” said Keith, who also worked as a business analyst. AI technology wasn’t up to the task back then, but the idea stuck with him and now it is.
Keith said when he went to some of his former clients and asked if they would use such a platform if he put together a startup to build it, they surprised him. “They basically said ‘absolutely, we’ll build it with you, we’ll help partner with you, we’ll give you our data and we’ll help you bring it to the market together’,” Keith said.
“We had no product yet and they are they are asking us to build this idea because there’s something very special there, which is what gives us the validation that we need,” added Alexander Diaz, Propense.ai’s COO/CFO who is also based in Miami. After more conversations and due diligence, letters of agreement were signed.
Propense is starting with large accounting firms that sell a number of services such as tax, audit, cybersecurity, HR consulting, procurement consulting, etc., where AI technology can help them determine what they should sell next. The company name refers to the propensity to buy next based on real data.
“LBMC is primarily known as an award-winning accounting and advisory firm, but we do so much more for our clients. Propense.ai has brought the concept of data-backed recommendations to the B2B industry. Accurately identifying necessary services to current clients, beyond the work we are already doing for them, seems like a simple concept, but it’s revolutionary for our industry,” said Suzanne Reed, Chief Growth Officer of LBMC. “We can’t wait to get started.”
Today, Propense is a team of eight people. Propense is looking to hire engineers, particularly a full-stack developer. Keith is also fundraising, seeking to raise a $1 million seed round.
“We’re building the models, we hired a data science team recently, we have some of the top advisors in the space as well,” Keith said. “We know it’s going to be a game changer for the industry but we want to do it right.”
By the end of summer, Propense.ai’s select beta clients, including those five large firms, will use it for free during the validation process. “Hopefully by the end of the year, we can go from beta clients to actual clients,” Diaz said. Early next year, the team plans to onboard more accounting firms from their waiting list, and they aren’t stopping with that industry, Diaz said. Later, Propense plans to go after the legal services market and then financial services. “That’s our roadmap.”
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