Applied XL

Launching a Solution to the Information Crisis with Applied XL

Applied XL have created a platform that combines the power of human perspectives and artificial intelligence. The Applied XL and frog teams worked together to define a product vision and design a scalable minimum viable product (MVP) for the company’s beta launch.

Using proprietary machine learning and editorially driven algorithms, Brooklyn-based machine learning startup Applied XL can sort through millions of data events in real-time to identify the most relevant information, helping to solve data’s “needle in a haystack” issue. The system is able to deliver early, contextual and newsworthy signals to the people that need it—before it becomes a headline.

Applied XL’s event detection systems sort through millions of data points in real time to identify the most noteworthy shifts in industry-specific data. These are then surfaced to professionals working within the sector—sparing them the task of trawling through irrelevant information.

The startup was founded by computational journalists (formerly of The Wall Street Journal) at Newlab, a community of entrepreneurs and innovators applying transformative technology to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Applied XL joined the frogVentures portfolio through a pre-seed stage investment from frog partner Tuesday Capital.  As part of the collaboration, the team sharpened their understanding of the initial target audience, then designed the core experience for desktop and mobile devices. frog operated as an extension of Applied XL’s team, seamlessly integrating into their workflow and resulting in a successful and accelerated launch.

“It’s more difficult to filter out irrelevant information than to create it. This means decision-makers are often challenged to find the signal amid the noise in the data critical to their businesses. The knowledge and technology we need to address this challenge are already available. frog helped us bring these together into a coherent product that aims to define ‘ground truth’ across a variety of industries.”
—Francesco Marconi, CEO/co-founder, Applied XL

Aiming High

Applied XL was built in response to what its founders describe as an “information crisis” triggered by difficulty in distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant data. Ultimately, their mission is to anticipate disruptions to the health of people, places and the planet so that these can be more readily addressed or even avoided altogether. 

“It’s more difficult to filter out irrelevant information than to create it,” notes Francesco Marconi, co-founder and CEO of Applied XL. “This means decision-makers are often challenged to find the signal amid the noise in the data critical to their businesses. 

“The knowledge and technology we need to address this challenge are already available. frog helped us bring these together into a coherent product that aims to define ‘ground truth’ across a variety of industries.” 

The partners identified the life sciences space—specifically, the clinical trials and drug development sector—as an ideal industry to launch into first. frog was brought on to turn the company’s vision into an intuitive MVP and successful product launch. 

Defining the value proposition

Through generative and evaluative qualitative user research, the team developed a target customer archetype and clear value proposition that convey both functional and emotional value to prospective users, including biotech and pharma operators. 

Streamlining visual identity

Applied XL needed an initial visual identity that would enable them to launch quickly and test assumptions in the market. The frog team established a Starter UI Kit with light branding elements to leverage in building out their growing product suite. 

Establishing information architecture

With an ever-growing feature list, Applied XL sought a strategic approach that would invite their users to explore their product capabilities. The frog team worked with Applied XL to define the key content types and architecture required for the product—and in the process outlined the overall user experience. 

Designing hero flows

With a short timeline, the frog team tackled the design of the highest impact and most complex screens while collaborating with Applied XL’s data & engineering team to orchestrate the product as a whole. The result is an intuitive, robust user experience that Applied XL can scale to other verticals and industries.  

Applied XL partnered with leading health and biotech news publisher STAT News to jointly launch its first vertical in life sciences. Within the first month of the product being live, Applied XL converted its first paying customers with an annual subscription of $1,500.
Applied XL subsequently raised a $3.5 million seed round led by Hearst Ventures in March 2022.
Applied XL’s co-founder and CEO had previously engaged with frog when he was AI & Automation co-lead at Associated Press on a project exploring the future of news.
Applied XL recently launched their new platform identifying important signals in clinical trials data. Now, their new intuitive experience is available for life sciences professionals via STAT Trials Pulse, with leading health and medicine publisher STAT. As part of the frogVentures portfolio, frog will continue to help Applied XL develop and scale their product into new markets.