Thematic, Leading Provider of AI-Powered Feedback Analytics, Reports Growth Milestones

Founder and CEO Dr. Alyona Medelyan Details Her Cross-Global Path to Becoming AI Expert, Entrepreneur and Founder of Pioneering Company

Thematic, makers of customer feedback analytics software powered by natural language processing and artificial intelligence, closes its sixth year of business with the achievement of significant milestones with major global clients like LinkedIn, Atlassian, Doordash, and Woolworths, increasing its clients 13-fold since launch and reaching a 50-fold increase in revenues since launch. 

Thematic’s growth also confirms the vision and drive of its founder and CEO Alyona Medelyan, a rare woman pioneer in the field of AI, with her academic work cited by more than 3,500 researchers worldwide.

Fifteen years ago, Medelyan foresaw AI’s potential in comprehending and translating textual data. She rebooted her educational plans, taking her from Ukraine to New Zealand, where she attained a Google-funded PhD. That led her to Y Combinator, the famed Silicon Valley tech startup accelerator, where investors saw the power of Medelyan’s ideas and helped her launch Thematic.

Thematic is a powerful feedback analytics SaaS platform that uses large language models and AI to analyze unstructured feedback data from surveys, reviews, chat logs, support tickets, and other sources, transforming that data into insights.  

Thematic currently analyzes all customer feedback for the career networking site LinkedIn, which has billions of users, and for food delivery service Doordash, which handles millions of orders daily. “Our software is powering insights from these kinds of numbers and allowing companies to improve interactions and make things better for the customers,” Medelyan said. “That's something I'm really proud of.” A recent study by Forrester Consulting found that Thematic provided a 543% ROI to clients.

Medelyan developed Thematic’s proprietary AI approach that utilizes natural language processing to discover “themes” custom to any dataset. That differs from competing solutions, which typically apply pre-set taxonomies to the data. “We believe that AI should tell you things you don’t already know about your data,” Medelyan said.  

Thematic also differs from virtually all AI systems in its transparency. AI is typically a “black box,” where users input some prompt to get a result. Thematic’s user interface shows customers how its AI creates themes and lets the user modify those themes. For example, users can re-organize and rename themes or ask the AI to discover more themes. From there, users can see clear data visualizations to present their insights. 

The idea for Thematic came from Medelyan’s consulting work after receiving her doctorate from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, where she worked with renowned AI expert Dr. Ian Witten. Three clients almost simultaneously asked Medelyan to solve the same problem – tame their customer feedback data to decipher what drove their Net Promoter Score, a customer loyalty metric.

Her prototype solution led several companies to sign on as clients. That was enough for Medelyan to persuade her husband, software developer Nathan Holmberg, to leave his job and join her in building Thematic. They applied for and were approved for a slot in Y Combinator, where they learned the skills to develop the business and lined up $1.2 million from investors.  

Thematic launched in 2017 with five clients and now has more than 65. It has dozens of employees across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States while expanding and refining its solution, now with more than 100 integrations and incorporating generative AI.  

The company’s success represents a long journey from when Medelyan, even then an entrepreneur, got in trouble at her then-Soviet Union elementary school for selling stickers at school so she could buy apples.

As a teen, she began her studies as a translator but soon noticed that academics were teaching computers to do the work. She took a job as a nanny to work in Germany, where she could study computational linguistics. Realizing that English was the language of the nascent AI field, she began studying the language. She went to New Zealand as an exchange student, sharpening her English and connecting with Dr. Witten - where she landed a PhD slot sponsored by Google, setting the path that led her to create Thematic.

“I'm from a tiny town in Crimea, in Ukraine, and I could never have imagined, even in my wildest dream, having a multi-million dollar company, supporting the livelihoods of families, people with kids, like me, and all of us having a good time as well,” she said.

“Here, I feel like I'm actually being useful, and I'm providing value in the world. You're actually helping customers to get a better experience, and you're helping companies to improve customer experience, be more profitable, and grow faster. So I feel like it's a good thing to be working on.”

To learn more about Dr. Medelyan’s research and Thematic’s solution, visit

About Thematic  

Thematic is a powerful feedback analytics software platform that helps companies make sense of customer feedback at scale. The platform analyzes unstructured feedback data from a wide range of sources, including surveys, reviews, chat logs, and support tickets. Powered by cutting-edge AI, the analytics model transforms this data into insights so companies can eliminate customer pain points and identify opportunities.  

Source: Thematic