Year in Review - 2018
Annotell has passed many milestones in 2018. By year-end we have grown from zero to over 30 people entirely self-funded, and established a strong beachhead in the data annotation market. We are fortunate to be working with some very strong partners, such as Zenuity and Volvo, that have shown the courage to take a chance with a young company.
Annotell was founded on Jan 22, 2018. From the beginning it consisted of Daniel Langkilde and Oscar Petersson, but they were immediately joined by Filip Reesalu. Filip has throughout the year been invaluable in building the foundation of our product.
Thanks to Erik Rosén at Zenuity, Annotell had a lead customer almost from day one. This allowed us to grow the team, with Marko Cotra joining in April as our first Machine Learning Engineer. Marko has been hard at work on our Annotation Engine during the year. Throughout the Spring Adam Brinkman and Fredrik Beiron wrote their Master Thesis with us, and we were happy to offer them positions once they graduated. They have joined the Backend and Frontend teams respectively. As our collaboration with Zenuity deepened and was extended, we could give more attention to the important user experience aspects, adding Lovisa Jäberg to the team as our first UX Designer. As our market activities increased during the fall we were joined by Amna Hamza, our first Business Developer. Amna has been building the foundation of our go-to-market strategy and segmentation. Together the 8 of us form the team here in Gothenburg.
Our team in the Ukraine started taking shape this Spring, and we are happy to now have established a strong, core Annotation Team under the leadership of Jenya Luchko and Tina Huzenok. Our team in the Ukraine ensure the consistency and quality of the training data we deliver. We have also established global partnerships allowing us to rapidly scale our annotation operations if necessary. We are currently able to support up to 1000 people simultaneously in an annotation project.
Our core values are collaborate, learn, simplify and care. Guaranteeing consistent data requires an enormous amount of collaboration, as there needs to be agreement about what constitutes “correct labels”. It’s not for nothing we say that we are building “the worlds greatest agreement machine”. We are always learning about new ways to find inconsistencies, raise efficiency - but are also working hard on honing our personal skills. Annotell has fully implemented Objectives and Key Results, with each member of the team and the company itself, providing quarterly objectives and key results, all of which are shared transparently in the company. Aligning company objectives and personal objectives allows us to stay focused, and continuously improve and adapt. We always look for ways to simplify our processes. Be it build times in our product pipeline or dashboards for client project tracking, we must make things as simple as possible. Finally we care about each other and place a great deal of trust in each other. This applies to ever aspect of our business. We take very seriously the trust our clients put in us to ensure consistency of their data. Everyone involved in the process needs to care deeply about the quality of their work, and the well-being of their team, otherwise we will lose our edge.
Our goal for 2019 is to become a market leader in guaranteeing consistent training data. We will continue our pursuit of simpler collaboration and will always obsess about the consistency of the data we deliver. Annotell is a client funded and client driven company - and we look forward to getting to know new partners during 2019.
This is just the beginning.