24 Apr iMerit Announces New Orleans as First U.S. Delivery Center, Another High-Tech Investment for NOLA
Digital data services company iMerit announced downtown New Orleans as the location for its first U.S. delivery center on April 24, representing another victory for New Orleans’ technology scene. In the New Orleans location, employees are supporting innovative companies with needs in Spanish and English Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, and U.S.-based customer service needs. The founding New Orleans team is fully bilingual Spanish-English and skilled in a variety of data services that help train machine learning algorithms. iMerit eventually plans to create over 100 jobs in this center, representing a significant investment in digital careers of the future in the Greater New Orleans region.
Built on the philosophy that the right training and opportunity can turn anyone into a technology professional, iMerit seeks to provide opportunities for populations with barriers to employment in order to ensure meaningful careers in the digital economy. iMerit first met with The Network for Economic Opportunity to discuss opening its first U.S. operation in New Orleans in mid-2017 and was very interested in how local Opportunity Centers take underserved individuals and transform their job readiness through intensive training programs like STRIVE NOLA. Since The Network’s integration into NOLABA, NOLABA has continued to work with iMerit to identify men and women from Opportunity Centers who could receive training and subsequently move into entry-level technology jobs to start their careers.
To date, iMerit has hired and skilled 15 employees in New Orleans and is continuing to scale as demand grows for U.S.-based data and customer services. iMerit has secured a long term space in downtown New Orleans, where they will ramp up to full operational staffing.
“New technologies like Natural Language Understanding and Computer Vision rely heavily on humans to create the nuanced data that fuels the algorithms,” said iMerit founder and CEO Radha Basu. “We operate where people are eager to develop digital skills and to transform their lives and those of their families. New Orleans has huge potential as a multilingual and multicultural hub with strong local backing for business.”
“In New Orleans and all across the state, Louisiana is proving to be a fertile location for continued growth of the digital media and software development fields,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “In our interconnected world, companies like iMerit are leading the way in ensuring our devices and the services we enjoy can seamlessly hurdle language barriers. We congratulate iMerit on this new investment in New Orleans, and we look forward to their continued success in our state.”
Backed by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Omidyar Network and Khosla Impact, iMerit was founded as a unique for-profit social enterprise to help build the digital livelihoods of the future while effecting positive social and economic change. iMerit’s global client list includes top online retailers, computer vision startups and innovators in financial services and healthcare. Application areas for the data work done by iMerit include autonomous vehicles, medical research, natural language recognition, e-commerce and financial inclusion. The work done in the delivery centers is supported by U.S.-based sales and marketing executives as well as solution architects. Today, the company employs over 1,300 people globally with over 50% being women and over 80% coming from low-income families.
“New Orleans is our nation’s most immediate laboratory for innovation and change,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “And our strategic plan to drive economic growth is seeing major results. The announcement that a global tech firm like iMerit is opening its first U.S. delivery center in our city, bringing with it 100 new jobs, is proof positive that the world is taking notice of our progress and renewed business energy. Our future is bright as we continue to attract major investments in the knowledge-based economy. As we celebrate our city’s Tricentennial, we have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to as we continue to build a city for the ages.”