Linkages wins support from FAPESP to develop pioneering AI model with geospatial analysis for market mapping

Artificial Intelligence will allow us to carry out more precise and agile geospatial analyzes to map the best locations of commercial points for entrepreneurs, new locations for franchises and new real estate developments.

THE Links has just won an important incentive to develop a pioneering project in its sector. The São Paulo State Research Support Foundation (FAPESP) approved a contribution of resources for the startup to develop a machine learning model applied to geospatial analysis to generate market insights. To date, there is no record of companies in the country that use this type of tool in similar analyses, especially in the real estate prospecting market.

To obtain this support, the Links submitted a project to FAPESP that detailed how the use of artificial intelligence can optimize its method and the process of geospatial analysis with market data, optimizing the search for the best location for a new development. Based at the Unicamp Scientific and Technological Park, in Campinas (SP), the Links has already carried out mapping and market studies, having served dozens of clients in this period. The application of AI in its processes is the natural step to improve the startup's already consolidated market analysis method.

For this project, FAPESP approved the participation of Links in phase 1 of your program Innovative Research in Small Businesses (PIPE 1). During this stage, the Links will receive a contribution of resources from the foundation to hire developers, improve its business plan with potential customers and validate its geospatial analysis model with AI. 

How the AI model will work

Geographer Dr. Lucas Baldoni, founder and CEO of Links, explains that there are some platforms on the market that offer data and advanced functionalities for the end user. However, they require subscription costs and analysis time, that is, the client needs to have knowledge in geographic intelligence and carry out the analysis until reaching the best location. On the other hand, as Baldoni explains, “Linkages optimizes this process by deciphering the story that the data tells, generating tailored results and super customized deliveries, optimizing the customer's life by identifying the best location for their enterprise and, consequently, resulting in increased revenue and success for their business”, he states.

He also exemplifies how the new model will work: “currently, the platforms already incorporate rich databases, with information such as location on maps, socioeconomic data of neighborhoods, age profiles of local audiences, etc. In the analyses, experts cross-reference this information and visually study the maps to point out, for example, the best locations to install a new enterprise. It is a visual process of identifying the best available locations. Linkages' new AI system will do this automatically, that is, it will already indicate the best territories, based on the desired objectives”, explains the CEO of Linkages.

Baldoni adds that the AI system will allow studies to be carried out faster and more accurately, as the systems are capable of processing much more information in less time. “If I want to open a business, the intelligent system of Links It will now indicate the most favorable territories on the map. Cross-referencing information from databases, he will prioritize factors that attract his target audience and restrict factors that detract from him, such as the presence of competitors nearby, for example. The AI model can perform these analyzes much more quickly and accurately, in addition to preserving the methodological rigor that the Links already uses in its market analyses. The AI system will optimize and expand the basis for decision-making for market agents and new entrepreneurs, regardless of their size or field of activity”, he adds.

Automated model validation

In this phase 1 of the FAPESP PIPE, it is now up to Links develop a prototype considering your method and the application of AI technologies and validate it over a period of up to nine months. The object of the project will be geomarketing demands from the franchise sectors and the evaluation of areas and land for the real estate market, adopting market data as a basis. 

For a future stage, Baldoni already envisions the functionalities that can be incorporated: “In a second stage of the project, more than presenting the best places to set up a business, the AI system will be able to indicate not only that, but also that This type of business has greater potential for success in a given territory, according to geospatial market analysis”, predicts the CEO.

It is worth adding that companies approved to participate in FAPESP's PIPE 1 can qualify, during this phase, to apply for PIPE phase 2 – a stage that foresees greater volumes of resources and deep integration with market agents and potential customers. It is no surprise that Baldoni states: “gaining this support from FAPESP represents a very big leap for Links, the foundation’s support is extremely valuable. We are sure that it will place our startup at a much higher level in the market, with great prospects for the coming years”, comments the CEO, a professional who follows a path that is not common among geographers, acting as an entrepreneur.

Hiring fellows

The PIPE 1 resources contributed by FAPESP can be used mainly to hire scholarship holders to develop the new geospatial model based on AI. Baldoni clarifies, as mentioned, that Linkages also plans to hire three specialists to join the project.

“We will need two more people, developers and geographers, who have experience in programming with AI tools and market experience”, details the CEO. “We are looking for professionals with these profiles to join our team, as fellows, to develop the model at this stage”, he concludes.


Text: Christian Marra | Photos: Pedro Amatuzzi