Tenyks, a University of Cambridge spinout focused on helping machine learning engineers build better, safer AI, has raised a £2.5 million seed round.

The startup says it is aiming to ‘protect the world from the Terminator’ via a platform which helps machine learning engineers working with computer vision data build more reliable software.

Described as a ‘doctor for AI’, it helps developers understand what’s wrong with their algorithms, resolve issues, remove bias, boost model performance and enhance data quality. 

Tenyks was co-founded by Botty Dimanov, Dmitry Kazhdan, and Maleakhi Wijaya. Having gone through the summer 2021 programme at prestigious accelerator Y Combinator, Tenyks has now come out of stealth and is working with five pilot users. 

“In one case, a machine learning engineer used Tenyks to identify the root causes of 80% of their algorithm’s failures,” said CEO Dimanov. “These findings helped them deliver higher quality results to their customers because of the significantly improved system performance. 

“Moreover, future new deployments can be onboarded in half the time because the engineers can now focus their efforts on alleviating the key bottlenecks.”

Dimanov came up with a patent-pending invention that laid the foundations for Tenyks’ technology while working on his PhD. Kazhdan and Wijaya then spent two and a half years fleshing out the practical implications of the research as part of their PhD and Masters work and establishing the engineering scaffolding that could produce a reliable product. 

Why founders shouldn’t focus on exit or investment

The new funding will be used to double the startup’s software engineering team, bringing its headcount to 12. 

“We are building a culture which makes it contagious to pour your heart and soul into building the product that can become the data explorer for machine learning,” said founding engineer Wijaya.

“What is different about Tenyks is that we are not just about achieving – we are about happily achieving. We find joy in everything we do, including and especially when it is most challenging, because that’s when we grow the most. 

“We even measure how many times we laugh during the week!”


Tenyks aims to turn the most boring part of a machine learning engineer’s job – manually sifting through data to improve the success rate of their AI – into the pinnacle of their day. “Engineers get frustrated wandering in the dark, trying to figure out if the change they made will improve performance, and not having the insights needed to know what to do next. Tenyks removes this stress, making the process a breeze,” says Dimanov.

The round was co-led by Speedinvest and firstminute capital, with participation from LaunchHub, Y Combinator, the University of Cambridge, Creators Funds, Remus Capital, CSVE Ventures, RKKVC, Black Mountain Ventures and a dozen angels.

These include the co-founders of Privitar – a market leader in data privacy and data governance – Pete Hutton, who developed products worth over $500m as a former president of product groups at Arm, and John Taysom, who led the first investment in Yahoo in 1995.

The market is changing – give your clients a platform for growth

Dimanov added: “Every time technology pushes the boundaries of the impossible, a category-defining product emerges to open the door for widespread adoption.

“Computers had graphical user interfaces and the internet had search engines. AI will have collaborative platforms that allow us to program and interact with data and unlock the full potential of artificial intelligence.”