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One Concern Acquires Startup Datmo for AI Expertise

The "acqui-hire" will bring Datmo's founders in to lead One Concern's solutions and data sciences teams. One Concern uses AI to help governments simulate disasters so they can better prepare for them.

Hurricane Wilma in 2005. (Lannis Waters/Palm Beach Post/TNS)
One Concern, a startup using machine learning to help governments prepare for and respond to disasters more effectively, has hired the team behind artificial intelligence company Datmo.

The move, called an “acqui-hire,” represents a purchase based more on talent than product. Datmo’s founders, Anand Sampat and Shabaz Patel, will lead One Concern’s solutions and data science teams, respectively.

One Concern offers the public sector tools meant to help it simulate the effects of disasters, identifying trouble spots so it can plan accordingly. Datmo, founded in 2016, created software to support AI and data work.

“We were drawn to One Concern because, while a number of companies found our products and services useful and asked to acquire them to solve their business problems, there aren’t many problems more pressing for society than the growing threat of natural disasters,” Sampat said in a blog post announcing the acquisition. “When you couple that with the talent that exists on the One Concern team it was an easy decision.”

One Concern was the subject of a New York Times article last year suggesting that the company’s software was flawed and it was overpromising results to customers. It has raised $55 million since its launch in 2015, according to the Times.

“I look forward to helping prospective and current customers across public and private sectors understand the power of One Concern’s resilience products and the capabilities and opportunities they unlock for them,” Sampat said in the post. “Machine learning provides clear advantages in terms of speed, capabilities, data processing and continual learning, especially in the world of disaster science.”

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.