A young Briton who did not attend university has launched a startup to build AI employees in San Francisco.

Jaspar Carmichael-Jack, aged 22 and from Surrey, has founded Artisan AI with CTO Dr Rupert Dodkins, who has a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Oxford and worked in machine learning for eight years.

Within months, Artisan AI has raised $2.3 million in investment and been accepted onto acclaimed startup accelerator Y Combinator, which accepts just 1% of applicants. Other participants in the pre-seed round include Bayhouse Capital and Oliver Jung, who was an early investor in Revolut, Robinhood and Brex.

According to Carmichael-Jack, two months ago Artisan AI was just an idea on paper. Now it has a team of five and its first ‘Artisan’, Ava, is scheduled to launch in early December. 

Artisans are described as human-like digital workers which automate job workflows from end to end and act as additions to teams, rather than software tools for them to use. Carmichael-Jack says this makes them notably distinct from existing solutions, which require constant management from a human. 

“Ava is a sales representative. Right now, she automates the full outbound sales cycle, but she will soon be able to automate the entire sales cycle, doing most things herself and acting as a co-pilot to the human when needed,” he explains. 

“[This is done through a] feature-rich SaaS platform that is managed entirely by talking to her on Slack. Ava prospects with a database of over 250 million leads, writes hyper-personalised emails, replies to prospects’ questions, and books meetings into human sales development representatives’ calendars.

Artisan AI's Ava

“Next year we plan to release five further Artisans to do everything from marketing to financial analysis.”

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Artisan AI will take part in Y Combinator’s Winter 2024 batch, which starts in January. YC alumni include Airbnb, Stripe, Brex and many other billion-dollar startups. 

“Our vision is to have teams of Artisans working alongside, and integrated within, human teams,” adds Carmichael-Jack, who previously founded international branding agency Burst Digital.

He also previously founded Assist, a platform for booking on-demand services in London. “I created the business as a solo founder with an outsourced development team,” he wrote on LinkedIn. 

“Over 3,000 service professionals signed up to the platform in the six months it was live.”

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