Ludovic Bodin
5 min readMay 23, 2022

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ALEIA: the European AI Platform selected by Gartner.

… and how a book on AI can spark change.

“Ludovic Bodin — receiving a draft of Kai-Fu’s upcoming book “AI Super-Power” — in August 2018"

Allow me to share with you a personal story and some great news.

As you know, I’ve been into Artificial Intelligence for a number of years, worked on a fund, invested in a number of companies, and also chair international investment for France AI hub.

Yet, what you might not know is how it all started, my origin story, back in the hot summer of 2018.

“Head of AI in many hyperscalers are European — Ludovic Bodin, Investor in AI”

I was back then proudly promoting that Europe has Talents in AI — with Head of AI in many hyperscalers like Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Nvidia, Intel, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, … being French/European. Remember the magic AI quadrant: Talent, Research, Data & Funding. And then I got stroked during a meeting with Kai-Fu Lee on August 17th, 2018.

That day, Kai-Fu Lee, renowned Artificial Intelligence pioneer, China expert, and venture capitalist, offered me a draft of his upcoming book, “AI Super-Power — China, Silicon Valley, and the new world order”.

The book became publicly available in September 2018, making me one of the first European to read it. And Kai-Fu’s book profoundly affected me.

Why? In AI Super-Powers — which later on became a phenomenal success, New York Times bestseller — Kai-Fu Lee argues powerfully that because of the unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happening much sooner than many of us expected. And that the race for AI is a US-China competition — with Europe completely missing the boat.

So Kai-Fu Lee shared with me, a European into AI, based in China, that Europe had no future, neither reaping the benefits of AI for its modernization nor building up champions. While I realized how scary that could be, I could not accept it — and Kai-Fu’s call became an invitation to explore what could be done to make this wrong.

“Some of the Founders of the European Applied AI alliance from Germany, France, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway — on stage at DLD in Munich, moderated by Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder at CogX & Chair of the UK Government’s AI Council”

I started meeting experts in the field of AI in Europe, building up networks such as the European Applied AI alliance and joined France AI Hub chairing International Investment. Yet, I felt poorly equipped for such a challenge.

But one man, Antoine Couret saw it differently. He pivoted his startup, Geo4Cast, which was working on AI & Mobility. Antoine was with other AI experts selected by Cedric Villani to build France's AI strategy report ordered by France President, Emmanuel Macron. And Antoine along with his co-founder, Francois Lainee, decided to take on the challenge of building a collaborative AI Platform, to respond concretely to the challenges of AI: lack of skills and data.

“Antoine Couret — CEO at ALEIA, Cedric Villani — Head of the French report on artificial intelligence (AI), Peter Altmaier, German Minister for Economic Affairs & Dr. Andreas Liebl — Managing Director at Applied AI”

That was late 2020. And that’s when ALEIA was founded.

I joined as one of the first investors and re-invested again when I could. ALEIA raised €8 million seed funding last year — including €6 million non-dilutive. And ALEIA reached quickly Product-Market Fit with customers ranging from top American companies like Disney or European companies like Renault or Vinci, data ecosystems like AI Cargo (Transportation), Paris Campus Cyber (Cyber), or public institutions like Region Val de Loire and Saint-Cyr city (Smart Cities).

Sometimes, it takes 8 to 10 years for an entrepreneur to get his/her startup to be recognized by its peers and market leaders. This time, it took 18 months. Talk about fast-tracking — and for a company that got started in France during COVID, late 2020! I am proud to announce today that Gartner has selected ALEIA as a Representative Vendor in the “2022 Gartner Market Guide for AI (Artificial Intelligence) Platforms”.

ALEIA Listed as a Representative Vendor in 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for AI Platforms

What does it mean to ALEIA as a company — and to me as an investor in ALEIA?

Well, it’s a huge recognition and signaling to the market.

First, the total addressable market (TAM, a word investor loves!) for AI tools is huge, with an estimated $271 billion in 2024.

Second, ALEIA has a first-mover advantage as a European player addressing the Ecosystem with a Community-led growth B2B strategy & an Open Collaborative platform environment.

ALEIA is < 2 y.o. VS Other AI Platforms selected >8 y.o — such as Databricks, C3.ai, Dataiku & 4Paradigm

Third, ALEIA is not only the first European vendor listed in the AI Platform category by Gartner. It is also by far the youngest company selected. ALEIA is less than 2 years old VS Other AI Platforms selected >8 y.o — such as:

- Databricks, founded in the USA in 2013 valued at $38 billion in 2021 and break ARR of $1 Billion in 2022.

- C3.ai, founded in the USA in 2009 and listed in Dec 2020 at $4B, with ACV of $13M and aiming $252M revenue in 2022.

- Dataiku, founded in the USA in 2013 and valued at $4.6B in 2021.

- 4Paradigm, founded in China in 2014 and valued at $3.5B in 2021.

BONUS: one of my main motivation while investing and working (hiring an additional 60 people in 2022) with ALEIA.

ALEIA does not only execute fast and get recognition from it. ALEIA is also used by all kinds of industries, with some examples of projects built on top of the ALEIA Platform that include:

- Climate Change Mitigation tools

- Route optimization for Transportation & Carbon Footprint

- Epidemy prevention

- Cyber Intrusion Detection

- Preventive maintenance in smart factories

- Smart Agriculture

- Etc.

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft — introducing Bill Gates latest book “How to avoid a climate disaster” and how AI can be used to build Climate Change Mitigation tools, for Transportation, Manufacturing, Agriculture, etc.

I had the opportunity to firsthand see the rapid transformation of industries with AI in China & USA.

I also had the chance to be one of the first readers of “AI Super-Power — China, Silicon Valley, and the new world order”. Kai-Fu Lee generously offered its draft to me in Beijing in August 2018.

I am proud today of ALEIA’s founders and team to bring Europe back into the AI race with its own set of values, Open & Collaborative. As Europe was built on and as we love it.

Antoine Couret — CEO of ALEIA & Ludovic Bodin — Investor in ALEIA — made an appointment with Kai-Fu to show that Europe knows how to move in major events

And you know what? More news are coming out soon, so stay tuned!

#AISuperPowers #BuildingUnicorns #Impact #Climate #Artificialintelligence #AIplatform #Gartner #ALEIA #2022 Gartner Market Guide for AI (Artificial Intelligence) Platforms”#saas #Freemium #aBillionIsAgoodStart

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Ludovic Bodin

Author of "Atomic Scaling", Investor & Entrepreneur. I was raised in France, I lived in Canada, California, Latin America and China.