We talked to David Llorente of Narrativa about its machine learning-based platform that builds and deploys natural language solutions to automate content, optimize processes and take business to the next level.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
David Llorente: These are incredibly difficult times for everyone, even if you have not suffered the disease in your own flesh. We all feel vulnerable, but we have to be responsible and follow public health advice to leave this behind.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Narrativa.
David Llorente: I’ve always felt a passion for disruptive innovation and technology. With more than 15 years of business development experience, I thought it was the time to create something meaningful.
Before starting this entrepreneurial career, I held executive positions in Business and Strategy Development for leading companies in the online gaming industry in Europe, the USA, and Latin America. Plus, in the first years of my professional career, I worked as a researcher specializing in Artificial Intelligence, making sense to combine these two facets.
Narrativa was founded in 2015, and we’ve been growing ever since.
How does Narrativa innovate?
David Llorente: We developed an artificial intelligence platform to build and deploy natural language solutions. Our proprietary technology, Gabriele, creates automated content for finance, pharmaceutical companies, media, e-commerce, marketing, gaming…
We can create 3,000 mobile descriptions in seconds or write down a clinical paper in just two steps. These solutions enable companies to save time and money, optimize processes, and focus on what’s really important.
Samsung NEXT recognized Narrativa as one of the most important companies in the Natural Language Generation (NLG) field, and Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services selected us for its startup program, so we try to keep up with the new advances in artificial intelligence.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
David Llorente: We couldn’t turn our backs on what was happening outside, so the first thing we asked ourselves in mid-March was: What can we do with our resources to help?
A company cannot live separated from society, and that is why we set up our coronavirus monitoring project. With this website, we wanted to bring information about COVID-19 to citizens and journalists simply and directly. We generated more than 300,000 articles, and more than 20 projects and media used our API. Currently, the project is ongoing.
On top of this, we had to look for other alternatives to our usual business model after most sports competitions worldwide were canceled.
When we looked at the situation, we decided that the best place to put our focus and our efforts was the generation of e-commerce content, which was essential when people were spending hours and hours online.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
David Llorente: Our clients also suffered the consequences of the pandemic: many of our media partners saw their income reduced due to the lack of advertising. In response to this, we reduced the cost of our services. We have to help each other in difficult times.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
David Llorente: We have always been committed to a remote working system, so trusting your team is essential. We try to alleviate the lack of contact by having regular team meetings and expressing our feelings and concerns about the COVID situation. We need to support each other.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
David Llorente: Companies are becoming increasingly more aware of the potential of new technologies and process automation for their businesses, so, naturally, more and more startups are emerging in the NLG world.
Our plan to stay in the game is very simple: we will improve our solutions and look for other alternatives to our usual business model that can increase companies’ efficiency.
Your final thoughts?
David Llorente: The ease with which companies are able to adapt to new situations has been laid bare since the pandemic. Many have not been able to overcome the consequences of confinement, and others have not understood how to move forward.
A startup is used to changes, and we know better than anyone how to adapt to new scenarios. This year has been challenging, but we’ve achieved good results. We will work to continue on the right path.