Quantum Rise grabs $15M seed for its AI-driven ‘Consulting 2.0’ startup

Quantum Rise, a Chicago-based startup that does AI-driven automation for companies like dunnhumby (a retail analytics platform for the grocery industry), has raised a $15 million seed round from Erie Street Growth Partners. Its approach is somewhat akin to UiPath's, a company famous for bringing robotic process automation to the enterprise, but with a broader lens on the AI hurdles companies face, and a touch more "hand-holding."

Quantum Rise deploys AI into companies under a so-called “Consulting 2.0” model to automate workflows, provide roadmaps and tailored AI solutions, and generally accelerate businesses. The startup is the second act from Alex Kelleher, the former founder of adtech platform Cognitive Match, which was acquired by Magnetic back in 2014.

For some context on the potential market opportunity for AI-driven automation, consulting giant BCG expects to generate a fifth of its revenues in 2024 from helping corporations integrate AI, and 40% by 2026. Meanwhile, IBM has secured more than $1 billion in sales commitments related to generative AI. This suggests a space is opening up for swift-moving startups to enter the arena, and that’s what Kelleher is betting on with Quantum Rise.

He thinks merging human and machine intelligence is where the opportunity is at right now.

“The entire consulting industry is about to come crashing to the ground because it's built on people's time and lack of automation," Kelleher told TechCrunch. "We will bring heavy engineering to the space. The number of CEOs of these $300 million companies who don't know where to start is enormous. They can't afford the Deloittes of this world. That’s where we come in. They want somebody to come in and just automate the company and make it happen.”

In a statement, Terry Graunke, chairman and CEO of Erie Street Growth Partners, added: “The Quantum Rise team uniquely understands how to apply data, automation and AI to augment human intelligence and drive growth.”