Portfolio #QFQs
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25 May 2022
© Peak

Meet Richard Potter, CEO at decision intelligence company Peak

As part of our quick fire questions series – or QFQs – we spoke to Richard Potter, cofounder and CEO of Peak, about the potential of Decision Intelligence, growing globally, and addressing the challenge businesses face of using AI into their operation.

What was the catalyst for launching Peak?

The idea for Peak first started as a conversation at a pub about all of the different AI and business intelligence products that were available at the time. My cofounders, Atul Sharma, David Leitch, and I wondered why so few companies could embrace data for decision making. We wanted a way to simplify things for businesses, to break down silos within enterprises so that teams could work together and everyone would be able to leverage useful outcomes based on data, not just for present hurdles that may arise, but also for future ones. This led us to the platform, which unites teams around a product built to optimise business with AI.

Tell me about the business?

Decision Intelligence (DI) is the application of AI to the commercial decision-making process. Peak’s Decision Intelligence platform provides businesses with a suite of outcome focused tools to build and integrate AI-powered solutions that direct decision making across multiple business functions. The Peak platform makes AI applications widely accessible within a business; uniting both technical and line-of-business teams on one platform. Peak is used by brands including Nike, Pepsico, KFC, Sika and PrettyLittleThing.

Decision Intelligence is commercially focused, meaning it starts with an objective in mind and delivers against a defined outcome. As such, it addresses many of the issues faced by businesses struggling to deploy AI and generate a return from their data investment. Because of this, DI is how the majority of businesses will adopt AI – this makes it the biggest tech movement for a generation.

How has the business evolved since its launch? 

Atul, David and I jointly founded Peak in Manchester and Jaipur in 2015 and the business has grown at an exponential rate ever since. It started as an idea sketched on the corner of a pub napkin and now we number over 350 staff across the UK, US and India.

With each new hire and every new Clubhouse we open, the business continues to evolve for the better – we have some exciting goals to achieve over the next couple of years, and we’re building an incredible team that I know will achieve them.

Peak has raised $119M to date. Early investors include Oxx, Praetura Ventures and MMC Ventures.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Not everyone understood what we were doing when we first started out. We were pioneers in the way that we thought about data and what it could do for businesses; at that time no one had thought to put a centralised platform in the cloud. But, to be honest, we weren’t always great at explaining our platform.

We’ve got much better at explaining Peak, and the maturing Decision Intelligence category has brought a lot of clarity to it.

How does Peak answer an unmet need?

Only around 24% of AI models built by businesses are currently productionised. By bringing both technical and business teams onto one platform and providing an interface for commercial teams to engage with a model, Peak addresses many of the challenges faced by businesses looking to deploy AI. It ensures models are outcome focused, and speeds up the process end-to-end. This not only decreases the time to value for enterprise AI deployments, but also brings down the total cost of ownership; the flexibility enables more businesses to generate meaningful outcomes from AI. 

What’s in store for the future?

As more and more businesses adopt Peak and Decision Intelligence, the innovations will come thick and fast, and they won’t just be driven by us. Yes, we’ll add new features, tools and capabilities to the platform, but the real innovation will be driven by our users. And that’s going to be really exciting to see.

At Peak, we believe that the world of business is changing. Growth simply for the sake of it is no longer the end game, and winning for many businesses now means making decisions that have a positive impact; not just on the bottom line but also on the people around you.

It’s my intention that Peak will lead the way in this new world; growing our charitable partnerships, supporting our local communities, putting our people first and committing to reducing our impact on the planet.

What one piece of advice would you give founders or future founders?

Be honest with yourself and honest about your business; always hold yourself to the highest standards.

Richard Potter is cofounder and CEO at Peak.