Okapi AI, an AI startup and provider of the platform for streamlining commercial real estate operations through artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, today announced the hiring of two new senior sales professionals to bolster the company’s national expansion. Effective immediately, Jill Powers and John Hancock will serve as Okapi AI’s VP of Sales and Senior Director of Enterprise Sales, respectively.
These new hires come just months after Okapi raised $5.5 million in Series A funding this past October and appointed CBRE Managing Director Stuart Appley to its advisory board. In building out its local sales team, Okapi is demonstrating its commitment to the U.S. market, while underscoring the increased adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions in the commercial real estate industry.
“The expansion of our U.S. sales team is the beginning of a much more aggressive business development strategy for Okapi AI,” said Iris Tsidon, co-founder and CEO of Okapi AI. “Jill and John will help us to increase adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning among CRE professionals.”
Okapi AI’s artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms enable property owners/operators to automatically leverage their existing, siloed CRE data streams to uncover hidden links and impactful insights in real-time. The platform delivers these insights, which include recommended next steps, to the appropriate person in the organization via text message, push notification, email, third-party software, desktop notification, or via other preferred workflows.
It is estimated that 97 percent of collected CRE data is underutilized, ignored or analyzed retrospectively. As the real estate industry introduces new players and becomes more tech-savvy, an AI-powered solution like Okapi can distinguish owner-operators from the competition by driving financial efficiency, increasing tenant satisfaction and improving building operations – all while seamlessly integrating into each user’s existing workflow.
Powers is a demonstrated and accomplished sales executive with over 15 years of business development, consulting and management experience, specializing in B2B software solutions. At Okapi AI, she will lead the U.S. sales team in meeting and exceeding sales revenue goals, sales profitability and budgetary objectives and implementing programs ensuring the sales team grows Okapi AI’s market share across North America. Powers holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics from State University of New York College at Oneonta.
“It’s empowering to add another female leader to our team as we expand into the cross-section of two traditionally male-dominated industries,” said Maya Gal, co-founder and chief technology officer, Okapi AI. “It’s imperative that real estate and technology leaders are proactively diversifying their talent base to include more female and minority talent. This is a priority for us at Okapi AI, given our founding story.”
“What drew me to Okapi AI was its unique vision and the opportunity it has to disrupt the CRE market by helping large real estate owners and managers improve operations,” said Jill Powers, VP of Sales. “New technologies that use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can be intimidating at first, but Okapi AI’s platform is one that introduces the concept in a very unique and comprehensive way. I look forward to connecting with innovative CRE leaders who want to disrupt the market and distinguish themselves from competitors using data and machine learning.”
Hancock brings over 20 years of experience across multiple industries and a great acumen in software, cloud technology and digital transformation. At Okapi AI, he will be responsible for leading managed complex enterprise sales. Hancock has worked in industries spanning information technology, financial services, ERP, consulting and advertising technology. He has extensive experience helping emerging technology companies build high-performance sales organizations, winning go-to-market strategies and accelerating market penetration.
“While SaaS technologies are generally looking to solve a well-defined and pressing problem, many of them struggle in delivering an elegant and tailored experience to the end-user, one that integrates with their day-to-day processes and workflows,” said John Hancock, Senior Director of Enterprise Sales. “Okapi’s technology enables CRE professionals to go beyond traditional Business Intelligence solutions, which at best only provide analysis on data up to that moment in time, and usually only from one data source like their leasing or asset management system.”
Hancock added: “Okapi’s AI and machine learning engine sits on top of all internal business systems, such as work order processing, HR, accounting, tenant management, among others. It also considers external data sources – like weather, market data and global events – to deliver actionable and predictive insights to the right people at the right time. I’m very excited to join this organization and I look forward to helping Okapi grow in the months ahead.”
Founded in 2017 by Gal Haselkorn, Iris Tsidon, and Maya Gal, the New York City-based Okapi is uses AI to provide real time personalized notifications, leading to operational excellence. Okapi is a SaaS platform powered by artificial intelligence that helps asset managers translate their existing data into personalized actions to increase net operating income portfolio-wide by 1-3 percent. The company’s machine-learning algorithms identify hidden opportunities to improve tenant comfort and increase income. The platform’s alert system sends every user in the CRE organization personalized notifications. Because of its user-friendliness and the power of its insights, Okapi’s technology has helped its clients win awards, including a RealComm Digie Award for Commercial Real Estate and a Pinnacle Award for Innovation from BOMA Toronto.