Our Companies

Q&A with Robbie Allen, Senior Advisor and Former CEO of Infinia ML

Robbie Allen, CEO of Infinia ML

Q: Can you explain exactly what your company does?

A: Infinia ML’s advanced machine learning experts help Fortune 500 companies and high-growth startups reduce costs, increase efficiency, and achieve breakthroughs with data science. The company serves numerous industries and focuses on natural language processing and image/object detection.

Q: What attracted you to Infinia ML?

A: In 2017, I stepped back from the company I founded, Automated Insights, and started to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. For me to join and lead another company, the situation had to be perfect – and this was.

The core team that was already onboard – including Dr. Larry Carin, one of the world’s most prolific machine learning researchers – was incredibly impressive. The opportunity to work with Dr. Carin and to build a business with the Carrick team, including our Executive Chairman Mike Salvino, was too good to pass up.

Q: What makes Infinia ML different than other machine learning companies?

A: There aren’t a lot of bona fide machine learning experts in the world, and there are fewer still who know how to bring value to the enterprise. Leveraging Carrick’s extensive business experience and understanding of the problems confronting tech-enabled businesses and healthcare, our company is able to do something that no one else is doing. While other companies engage in science experiments or simple demonstrations, Infinia ML is committed to making immediate business impact with machine learning.

Q: What impact do you believe machine learning will have on business?

A: ML has been moving forward at an unprecedented rate in the last decade, helping to boost the whole field of AI to new heights. For us though, this is about delivering business impact to every one of our clients. We define business impact in three ways: reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and achieving breakthroughs. Here are a few ways this can take shape in practice:

  • Scanning images and videos for anomalies that humans might miss – helping prevent security breaches and product defects before they happen.
  • Performing biomedical analysis to detect risks without invasive procedures.
  • Extracting meaning from large numbers of complex documents, automating a repetitive task in a fraction of the time.

Q: What career experiences will inform your approach to leading Infinia ML?

A: I’ve done this before with another early stage company. We made our share of mistakes, but built a great product and had a successful exit. This time around, I look forward to applying the lessons I’ve learned.

Q: What are the benefits of working with a group like Carrick Capital Partners?

A: Having been an entrepreneur, I had a perception of private equity that was completely different than the experience I’ve had with Carrick. I think it’s common for entrepreneurs to fear that private equity will come in and take a heavy handed approach; that they will replace the company’s management team, in part or whole, and bring in their standard playbook to achieve operational efficiency. Carrick shatters that misconception. In addition to capital, they have leveraged their network and operations experience without ever being overbearing.

At my previous company, we had to spend a lot of time and energy raising money. Thanks to the resources from Carrick, we’re able to focus on growing our business knowing that we already have solid financial support. It’s a great advantage.

Q: What’s your advice for other businesses considering private equity?

A: I think there are lots of benefits to working with private equity. Owners can still retain ownership and gain access to growth capital as opposed to selling out or getting acquired. It’s also a great option for bringing additional experience to the table that can help supercharge the business and take it to the next level.

Q: What are your goals for Infinia ML over the next five years in terms of both growth and also measureable business impact?

A: To build a valuable, sustainable machine learning business with a large global footprint. We want to be recognized as the premier machine learning company on the East Coast, and we want top talent to know that they don’t have to go to Silicon Valley to work on the cutting edge of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

For our clients, our goal is well-stated in our slogan, Redefine Possible. We want to help companies lower costs, increase efficiency, and achieve breakthroughs in ways they couldn’t before.

Q: What are you most excited about at Infinia ML?

A: The big picture answer is getting to work with this innovative team of scientists. We put together an incredible group in a short amount of time. We have capital, abundance of opportunity, and great people. Every day I am impressed by the ML prowess that our team displays, and I can’t wait to see how it transforms the business world.

In the near term, I’m really excited about a book I’m working on with Larry Carin, our Chief Scientist, and Mike Salvino, our Executive Chairman who is a Managing Director at Carrick Capital Partners. Published by Addison-Wesley, “Machine Learning In Practice” will help executives and managers make the most of this transformational technology.

Infinia ML empowers companies to make smarter decisions and automate complex business processes by leveraging the latest advances in machine learning.
About Carrick Capital Partners
Who We Are
A firm of enterprise software, SaaS, and technology enabled services investors and operating executives with substantial experience founding, scaling, and optimizing market leading businesses.
Our Approach
We work with management to identify and improve critical areas of their business - focusing on the priorities that align with our experiences and that will deliver the highest strategic impact in both the short-term and long-run.
Why We Are Different
We have a concentrated number of companies in our portfolio so that we can build substantial relationships with each management team and ensure our firm's commitment to each company's goals.
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