AWS Startups Blog

Neura Puts Mobile Apps on Notice

Have you ever experienced notification fatigue? That’s the industry term for when your mobile apps prompt you to act so often that the notifications themselves become a burden, rather than a helpful reminder. In fact, if you look at the number of notifications that are opened in the industry, it’s “less than eight percent,” says Daniela Jinich, a business development manager at Neura. Neura aims to transform mobile notifications using AI and machine learning to create context-rich user profiles that can deliver notifications to customers when they need them. Given the current open rates, Neura’s got a big task ahead of them.

Luckily, they’ve got some big guns on their side. “Neura has really two engines,” Jinich explains. Its tech is based on machine learning and AI algorithms. It ingests aggregated and automatized data about users that shows apps “who their users are in the real world, and how they choose in their real lives to interact with their digital services; when they need these services and when they prefer to hear from these services.” That means that mobile apps no longer need to blast their users with non-targeted notifications. Instead, they can transform customer engagement and deliver “personalized, contextualized experiences that result in much higher engagement, retention, and conversion,” says Jinich.

The genesis of this technology is in the digital health space, where getting personalization right can be a matter of life or death. “If you think about people with chronic disease who have to manage their disease, it’s really important to reach these users in specific contexts during the day to make sure that they’re managing their condition, and that’s lowering the cost associated with medication nonadherence or mismanagement of condition,” Jinich says. And Neura yielded some dramatic results. “We saw better patient health outcomes, healthier habits, and more successful interactions because people can’t be interacting with their doctors all day.”

Porting the techniques of digital health management to mobile apps more globally isn’t necessarily intuitive. But Neura saw the connection. “We realized that actually the need wasn’t just in terms of health; the need was in terms of engagement,” Jinich goes on. Further, they saw the problem in the industry as “customer engagement. It’s this gap between how mobile brands understand their users and what their users need from the services at the industry at their fingertips.” Armed with that insight, they have been able to deliver personalization to a wide variety of industries—insurance, telecos, financial, transportation, you name it. By fleshing out the user profile with real-world context, they’re able to transform how apps conceive of their services.

Take a rideshare app, for example. From a customer’s point of view, what is an app that does transportation or ridesharing trying to find? They’re trying to find a user who needs a ride to work. What Neura provides is the ability to react to that need in real time and reach each user. “We look at morning commuters in Manhattan; they all need a ride to work, but they don’t all leave home at the same time and they have many options on how to get to work,” explains Jinich. “With Neura, they can find morning commuters by understanding these users in the real world, and they can reach them when they’re about to leave home. By sending that message and reacting to context instead of just the time, they’re able to really increase the amount of engagement with the app, and obviously conversions and rides.” Given that we’re moving toward a mobile-first world, this type of user customization and conversion is going to be a crucial element going forward. Consider this an early notification.


Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.