Deon Nicholas’ Forethought company is garnering attention from accomplished individuals. In its third year, the startup announced that it raised $17 million from investors like Ashton Kutcher, Diddy and LL Cool J during a Series B funding round.
Nicholas launched Forethought — an artificial intelligence business — alongside ex-LinkedIn engineer Sami Ghoche in 2018. Per the website, it is a company that “creates order, removes redundant work and provides efficiency for businesses everywhere.”
Forethought’s appeal lies in the customer support agent Agatha which processes support tickets, resolves them and applies past solutions to new problems, reducing resolution times and leading to higher accuracy. “Agatha is able to figure out when new problems start to arise and how to respond to them by listening to how [human] agents are responding,” Nicholas told Forbes. Over 500,000 claims have already been resolved, according to the company.
Kutcher was reluctant to invest in Forethought’s technology until his team at Sound Ventures realized that it worked. “It’s a headache so many of our portfolio companies have because with everything becoming 24/7, customer service has to be 24/7. And it gets more complicated when everything is on-demand and everything is at your fingertips,” Kutcher said.
“There’s a lot of folks who are working on different AI things, but no one really has a front door to it,” Smith added. “Watching what Deon is doing, they are making every organization way more intelligent.”
Nicholas and Forethought reportedly had “a tough time” closing the Series B financing following George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests, but with Kutcher’s assistance, the startup has received support from Diddy, LL Cool J and more.
“For me, it is really important to tell a new story, change the face of what success looks like,” Nicholas said. “I’ve always been a builder, so if that’s what I can do for the world, then I’m going to do that and make waves while I’m at it.”