The startup Ask Mona has announced that it has completed a Series A financing round of 2 million euros. This round of financing was carried out with Saga Invest, an investment fund specialising in art and new technologies, the Tech & Touch fund, managed on behalf of the French government by Bpifrance as part of the Programme d’investissements d’avenir (PIA), and Philippe Ligot and Denis Thébaut, and will enable the French start-up to continue its development on a national level and also to launch itself on the European market.
Founded in 2017 by Marion Carré and Valentin Schmite, the startup Ask Mona develops conversational tools for public information and mediation as well as data analysis solutions to simplify the relationship between cultural institutions and visitors. With 13 employees, the startup currently has about fifty clients with varied profiles throughout France: the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris Musées, the Grand Palais, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse, the Centre Pompidou in Metz, etc. The solution can be accessed directly online from visitors’ mobile phones or tablets, without requiring them to download anything.
“With Ask Mona, our ambition is to decompartmentalize access to culture by facilitating dialogue between cultural institutions and their audiences. We support museums, theatres, foundations, monuments and other cultural venues in the development of information solutions or visit assistance using artificial intelligence,” says Marion Carré, co-founder and president of Ask Mona.
Developing in France and abroad
Today, Ask Mona’s ambition is to become the European leader in artificial intelligence solutions dedicated to the cultural market, enabling cultural institutions to get closer to their audiences.
Thanks to this €2 million round of funding from Bpifrance, Saga Invest, an investment fund specialising in art and new technologies, Philippe Ligot, and Denis Thébaut, the startup hopes to double its workforce within the next year and continue to invest in R&D in order to experiment and create new solutions using artificial intelligence, via collaborative innovation partnerships with cultural institutions.
“Thanks to this fundraising, we will continue our commercial development with French and foreign cultural institutions, particularly in Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Canada and Switzerland where we are already present”, continues Marion Carré.
Reaching 1000 institutions equipped with Ask Mona solutions by 2025
Ask Mona’s ambitions are high, says Valentin Schmite, co-founder and CEO of Ask Mona:
“We want to participate in the transformation of cultural institutions. From being places where the public is welcomed, they are also becoming media spaces, participative forums and digital platforms. Our solutions are part of these changes, making the world of culture increasingly accessible. We are aiming for a portfolio of 1,000 cultural institutions by 2025. We want to reach up to 500 million visitors.
Anne Villette, Senior Investment Director in Bpifrance’s Cultural and Creative Industries team also said:
“We are very proud today to support this talented team that has gained strong legitimacy in both the technological and cultural worlds, and has quickly built up a prestigious client base. We are convinced that Ask Mona has today the capacity to deploy numerous complementary offers of mediation and consulting, the contribution of new technologies being more and more requested by the cultural institutions to distinguish themselves and reinforce their attractiveness to a large public. This investment serves to enhance the value and inclusiveness of culture and heritage.