After a copyright lawsuit forced the company he cofounded to shut down last December, Andrew Arruda, the cofounder and former CEO of legal research startup ROSS Intelligence, has now taken the helm as CEO of a new software company, this time in the medical field.
Arruda announced the company, Automate Medical, in a post yesterday on Medium. The company plans to develop products to digitize data from diagnostic tests and lab reports and then create analytic dashboards for health professionals to interpret and analyze that data.
Arruda said that Automate Medical has raised a pre-seed round of $2 million, led by Apollo Projects, an investment fund formed last year by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI and the former president of Y Combinator, to back “moonshot” startups.
“At Automate Medical we envision a world where software and data science play an essential role in the diagnosis and treatment of all diseases in the future,” Arruda wrote. ”
Our software will ensure patients receive not only the best treatment possible but personalized pharmaceutical and treatment plans benchmarked using data, rather than depending on the individual experience of a particular physician or group.”
Arruda, a former lawyer, and two computer scientists, Jimoh Ovbiagele and Pargles Dall’Oglio, founded ROSS in 2014 at the University of Toronto as a student-built entrant in a cognitive-computing competition staged by IBM to develop applications for the Watson computer. After winning that competition and gaining media coverage as an AI platform that could someday replace lawyers, ROSS quickly gained momentum.
Soon, the founders were invited to Silicon Valley to participate in the prestigious Y-Combinator startup incubator. Denton’s NextLaw Labs made ROSS one of its earliest investments. In 2015, they secured $4.3 million in seed funding and then, two years later, another $8.7 million in Series A funding. In 2017, Forbes named the three founders to its “30 Under 30.”
Then, last May, Thomson Reuters filed a lawsuit against ROSS, alleging that it stole content from Westlaw to build its own competing legal research product. Although ROSS has denied these allegations and vowed to fight the lawsuit, which it continues to do, the expense of fighting the case forced ROSS to announce last December that it would shut down its operations.
“This isn’t our first rodeo,” Arruda wrote yesterday of his new company’s cofounders. “We’re a team from law and finance with a keen eye for detail, a deep comfort with large data sets, and a background in making intuitive tech for busy professionals.”