16:32 | 05.03.18 | News | exclusive 28937

SmartGateVC invests in 2Hz and XCloud Networks

SmartGateVC fund has announced its first two investments in Armenian startups 2Hz and XCloud Networks.

The fund has informed Itel.am about the investments, but has yet to disclose the invested funds.

2Hz has developed a speech enhancement technology that significantly removes background noise from a real time conversation. 2Hz’s specially designed deep neural network is trained to recognize noise in Audio and remove it without impacting the human speech. The company is now part of Berkeley SkyDeck Accelerator.

2Hz startup team 2Hz startup team
photo © SmartGateVC

“It is exciting to see this many capable people in one team and it is great to realize that you know these folks for a long while. We invest in confidence and we are happy to be partners with this team,” said SmartGateVC co-founder Hambardzum Kaghketsyan.

“This pre-seed investment is helping 2Hz to perfect its disruptive AI-based technology and work with early pilot partners to prove its applicability in real life. We admire how SmartGate operates and are very excited to go to this journey together with this team,” said 2Hz co-founder and CEO Davit Baghdasaryan.

XCloud Networks is a vendor of intent-based networking solution running on top of open networking equipment. The company is disrupting telco backbone and wan by saving engineer time 100 times, the corporate expenses 20 times and total cost of ownership for 10 times. With early adopters in Europe, the team is currently working on penetrating the US market.

“We were working with the team since April last year and we are excited to be on board with this team - we firmly believe in their potential,” remarked SmartGateVC co-founder Ashot Arzumanyan.

“We have validated our technological approach through our innovator customers based in Europe, but still there is lots of things to do to offer tenfold better product and cross the chasm to start acquiring early adopters. Current pre-seed investment round and wisdom from SmartGateVC are important components of this difficult step,” noted XCloud Networks co-founder and CEO Alex Saroyan.

“In this industry professionals like Alex usually take the career path. XCloud Networks comes with a unique combination of top level industry expertise coupled with profound entrepreneurial mindset,” stated SmartGateVC founding advisor Vazgen Hakobjanyan.

With target capital of USD 3 million, SmartGateVC invests up to USD 100,000 in pre-seed startups. The fund’s main areas of focus are artificial intelligence, security, and internet of things.

In late February, the fund announced investment from Tim Draper, who was among the first to invest in Skype, Baidu, Hotmail, and Tesla. In Yerevan SmartGateVC operates in Hero House coworking space.