Montreal, Canada based artificial intelligence solution provider, Element AI, has raised $102 million in a Series A investment round led by Data Collective, with participation from Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, NVIDIA and a host of other investment funds. According to several media reports, this funding marks the largest Series A funding for an artificial intelligence startup till date.
The company states that it will be using the funds to accelerate its capabilities and invest in large-scale AI projects globally. It will also create about 250 job openings in Canada’s technology sector and aims to position itself as the largest AI company is the country.
Element AI operates as a platform or incubator for global organizations that want to use AI in combination with their proprietary data but are lacking the solutions, resources and talent to do so. The news comes just six months after Microsoft Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in a seed round.
“Artificial Intelligence is a ‘must have’ capability for global companies. Without it, they are competitively impaired if not at grave risk of being obsoleted in place. Seasoned AI investors at DCVC understood this, and supported us to democratize the AI firepower reserved today for only the largest of tech corporations,” said said Jean-François Gagné, CEO, Element AI.
“Intel, Microsoft, and NVIDIA, as pioneers and champions of AI hardware and software, likewise understand that their businesses flourish as every company is empowered with world-class AI. This is why these leaders have backed us with the world’s largest Series A round ever for an artificial intelligence company. This historic round will help Element AI deliver profoundly powerful AI platforms for all, not just the few.”
In addition to laying the groundwork to hire hundreds of researchers, this new funding will also be used to aggressively expand on a global scale focusing on AI-powered solutions for their customers in cybersecurity, fintech, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, and robotics.
Serial entrepreneurs Jean-François Gagné and Nicolas Chapados, Real Ventures and Yoshua Bengio, a co-father of deep learning technology, co-founded Element AI in October 2016 to help the industry with the massive scale of academic AI innovation Bengio was driving at the world-leading Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms.
— Jean-Francois Gagné (@jfgagne) June 14, 2017