Motif Analytics brings sequence analytics to growth teams

Motif Analytics, a startup specializing in sequence analytics for growth teams, today announced that it has raised a $5.7 million seed funding round led by Felicis and Amplify Partners. InvestInData angel group also participated.

At its core Motif helps product teams find the patterns in how users interact with their tools. Simply seeing metrics on a dashboard, the team argues, doesn’t provide the right kind of information. Instead, you may want to see what happens between a user looking at a product page, clicking around a site, putting something into a shopping cart and then checking out.

“So you have this sequence of events that the user is doing and then you can look and mark in your sequence: here is when a certain thing happened that might affect their actions,” Motif co-founder and CEO Mikahil Panko told me. “Did they see a certain banner, for example? Did they set a reminder for meditation in the meditation app, something like that. And then later, did they check out or do they subscribe?”

The company was founded Panko (CEO) and Theron Ji (CTO), who met while at Google. There, Panko told me, he found that while he had access to massive amounts of data, it was tough to unlock practical insights from all of this information.

“Reporting was kind of fine, but the practical insights, which is usually ‘what should I be doing to move my metrics, where can I find my levers to influence the business?’ Those were complex,” he told me. So he started looking at sequence analytics as a tool for finding those levers and developed an internal sequence analytics platform inside of Google, which became quite popular inside the company. Now, after a stint at Uber, he and Ji, who built those tools with Panko inside of Google, decided to team up to build a company around this idea.

Sean Taylor, who previously worked at Facebook and Lyft in various data science positions, joined the team as the third co-founder.

Image Credits: Motif Analytics

Panko tells me that the team currently targets heads of growth and operations. These users interact with Motif mostly through its easy-to-learn Sequence Operations Language (SOL). The more standard SQL, the team argues, isn’t suited to sequence analytics. The team is working on a fully-featured drag-and-drop user interface, too, though, which will open up the service to more non-technical users, too. The result of this is an interactive visualization, though, that makes it easy for virtually any user within a company to see where potential changes could lead to increased growth. As the team noted, Motif takes a lot of the rigor of the data tools that data science teams are already using and then combines that with its SOL and interactive visualizations.

Image Credits: Motif Analytics

One nifty aspect of Motif’s technology stack is that it uses large language models (LLMs) at the core of its analytics engine.

“LLMs predict what the next words are — and they’re very good at telling what word goes together with another — or not,” Panko said. “We adopted it to be used on sequences of events. I’m interested in this type of conversion, say subscriptions or unsubscribes or churn. That’s what I care about. And now it can model the whole sequence and the model can tell us at each stage what the probability of the user — given what they did in the past — to reach the end [of the sequence]. That allows you to get so much faster to where the levers are.”

Image Credits: Motif

Another nice technical innovation: Motif uses WebAssembly to allow users to work with local datasets in the browser without having to send any of their data to the company’s servers. That’s not going to work for very large datasets, but it does give potential users a chance to try out the service without having to connect their private data to Motif.

“As a tech marketing executive and investor, I have observed firsthand how the analytics space has become overcrowded with similar-sounding products, which always overpromise and underdeliver,” said Viviana Faga, General Partner at Felicis. “Motif‘s fresh and differentiated approach uses sequence analytics and has a unique way to apply AI to analytics data. Most companies struggle with complex data stacks and mountains of effort to deliver practical insights for everyday business decisions—now with Motif there’s an easy-to-use solution that will reinvent how tech companies use their data.”

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