Interview with Anton Vaisburd, Data Science Expert

We have started a series of interviews with Ukrainian tech professionals, which put a light on the specific fields of the tech sphere in Ukraine, share experience and advice to the startups, and explore the opportunities Ukraine has to offer in the global economy.

The next person we’ve talked to is the deep tech expert, CEO and co-founder of low-code data science platform Datrics Anton Vaisburd.


TechUkraine: What’s your background? Who is your team?

Anton:  Since I was a child, I’ve been passionate about mathematics – different сontests, camps, and a corresponding major at the university. I found the real-world application of it in quantitative analytics, a kind of data science applied in finance and trading. Later, I moved to a pre-sales and management role, driving a large data science consulting team, responsible for the EMEA region and Fintech/Banking and Retail globally. Now it helps a lot to combine my analytical and management background to lead the Datrics team.

I have 2 Co-founders in Datrics: 

  • Volodymyr Sofinsky. We’ve been working for Tier 1 bank through EPAM, then SoftServe, and now Datrics. He has a consulting and hands-on data science background, so Volodymyr drives our Data Science team.
  • Kirill Kirikov is my close friend for the last 10+ years. His expertise in enterprise solution architecture and infrastructure gives him the perfect background to drive our technology part, being a CTO. 

We’re actively growing; for now, we have Data Science, Engineering, Big Data, UI/UX, and Sales/Marketing sub-teams, who work closely with each other.

TechUkraine: Why and how have you launched your startup, drag&drop data science platform? Who is the target audience of the deep tech solution?

Anton: The idea of Datrics came very naturally from the experience we had. We’re truly passionate about data-driven decision making, and we see a lot of benefits in the adoption or popularization of machine learning within organizations (from SMBs to large enterprises). 

Experience in data science consultancy brought a deeper understanding of the problems emerging when implementing data science solutions:

  • expensiveness and high threshold
  • lack of professionals on the global market
  • fragmented toolset
  • a tiny share of experiments (I believe 10% or less) making it to production
  • problems in the co-organization of the workflow for analysts, scientists, developers, DevOps, and business stakeholders. 

Our initial goal was to make it accessible for a broader range of businesses and people within an organization, increase analytics’s team capacity, and dramatically reduce costs. 

Datrics significantly decreases the time it takes to put solutions in production from months to days allowing better data-driven business decisions without coding or prior algorithms knowledge.

The platform provides templates to solve common business problems, such as predictive maintenance, inventory management, demand forecasting, fraud and anomaly detection, and many more.

We’re targeting enterprises and their executive teams, who want to adopt AI faster. Everybody involved in the analytics process is platform users, Data Scientists, ML Engineers, Business Analysts, etc. At the same time, our customers are C-level Executives, Business Unit Managers, and Technical Leaders. 

Our message is clear – you need 3 people for 2-3 weeks and Datrics instead of 5-6 people for 10 weeks to make the solution from an idea and raw data to production.

TechUkraine: Could you overview the key steps for successful raising angel investments?

Anton: Access to capital is a recurrent problem in the UA startup ecosystem. However, it has been developing over the last few years, and we see more angel and institutional investors working here. We are lucky to have great support from our investors, Sigma Software labs, Inspirium laboratories, and Quarter Partners, who are working very actively and supporting the development of the whole community heavily. 

It may sound confusing, but the investment is NOT the main thing you should be concerned about. Focus on the idea and great product you are building, your team, users, and their needs. Your reputation, background, and ability to explain and present your product are essential too, but constantly talk to your (potential) users, make sure that you’re solving the problem they have, and iterate from here.

The best way to attract investors is to prove that you’ll be successful with or without them. They’re not going to build the company on your behalf but will provide fuel for your money-making machine. So, just build a strong business case and an excellent product – start with canvas or graduate from a free YC startup school.

As soon as you can persuade yourself that what you do deserves investment, you’ll find the investors or growth partners. Money is not the only thing investors could support you with, and they can also help to expand the geo, introduce to their portfolio companies and clients, etc. 

My advice is not to be jealous, find advisors who can help, know your target market, assign some shares to them, and make your success their success. Illia Polosukhin, ex-googler and co-founder of NEAR, is a great help for us as an advisor. He helped (and hopefully will continue doing this!) us to avoid a lot of mistakes and save time and money. 

TechUkrfaine: What’s next for Datrics (scaling up – where, how)?

Anton: WIN-WIN-WIN. We have certain KPIs, including MRR (monthly recurring revenue) – and we are focused on the use cases in a few industries to achieve it, including Financial Services and E-commerce, aiming to grow the existing customer base. 

We’ll release our own chargeable version in a few months.

Now we communicate with potential clients in North America, Nordics and the UK, and even a few Ukrainian companies. We need some time to adjust our processes to the team growth, both from the dev and sales/marketing perspective. 

We are planning to strengthen the team in the next month and scale up to 15 people. 

Moreover, we are working to develop our partners’ ecosystem to bring more benefits to our customers, such as power visualization, consulting, etc.

Besides that, we’re actively developing features requested by our existing clients and are thrilled about the next few releases and pilots. 

TechUkraine: What do you think about the Ukrainian potential and competitiveness on the global map in AI and deep tech solutions?

Anton: Working on both services/consulting and product side, I can say that we possess top-notch talents on the market, wonderful communities, and conferences. 

Ukraine locates many R&D centers of enterprises with significant AI potential. The only obstacle is the availability of capital and the weak entrepreneurship mindset. Many people settle for great positions in IT and just do their job without leaving their comfort zone. I’m pleased to see that the situation is now changing for the better with a new generation of people who have not only pure outsourcing experience but also consulting, driving the clients and projects to achieve maximum value.

Our tech industry is rising with innovative ideas and development strategies. I do believe that Ukraine has a huge potential to become a major player in the global market. We possess superior technological expertise here, and I envision more and more deep tech and tech startups coming, especially when the physical location doesn’t matter anymore.

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