Irish deep-tech Zerve raises $3.8m pre-seed led by Elkstone

21 Nov 2023

From left: Niall McEvoy, Greg Michaelson, Jason Hillary and Phily Hayes. Image: Zerve

Zerve is one of 10 deep-tech start-ups from across Europe taking part in the Intel Ignite accelerator programme to scale its tech aimed at data scientists.

Irish deep-tech start-up Zerve has raised $3.8m in pre-seed funding led by Elkstone Ventures to build new architecture for data science and AI development.

Founded in 2021 by college friends Phily Hayes and Jason Hillary, Zerve has created a coding platform tailored for data science and AI development to allow teams to collaborate and share outputs more easily.

The company’s cloud-based and serverless technology uses a novel architecture to create scalable and collaborative development environments. Essentially, Zerve helps break down ‘silos’ that exist between data scientists and developers.

Hayes is a former employee of LearnUpon and Deloitte while Hillary has a PhD in engineering. The founders were later joined by Greg Michaelson, former chief customer officer at DataRobot.

“Data scientists have never really been able to seamlessly share both their code and their results with their colleagues. The existing tools available are fragmented. It makes it hard to be productive,” explained Hayes.

“With Zerve, all the teams can collaborate live and build something stable enough to deploy. In much the same way as Figma made design collaborative, Zerve is poised to bring this innovation in the data science coding space.”

The company is currently one of 10 deep-tech start-ups chosen from Europe to take part in the Intel Ignite accelerator programme which has seen nearly 150 countries take part and raise a collective €1.6bn since 2019.

“Zerve brings about an architectural paradigm shift,” said Michaelson. “We’re dedicated to building Zerve to not only enhance the capabilities of data science but also to empower data scientists to deliver effortlessly in the era of AI.”

While the pre-seed round was led by Elkstone Ventures, a previous investor in Flipdish, LetsGetChecked and Manna, other backers include Sean Mullaney, chief technology officer of Algolia, and Rob Hickey, former executive vice-president of engineering at DataRobot.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic