The Series A round which was spearheaded by the San Francisco-based venture capital firm Data Collective has seen the Canadian artificial intelligence startup Element AI raise about $102 million. It made this announcement today mentioning its numerous investors which include: Development Bank of Canada, Hanwha Investment, Fidelity Investments Canada, Intel Capital, National Bank of Canada, Microsoft Ventures, NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and the global wealth funds.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Hanwha and Tencent are some of the companies that the eight-month old Montreal-based startup was able to obtain its funds from. However, it has not yet revealed how much it obtained from each.
Element AI has affirmed that it will use the funds to make investments in the large scale AI projects, in the 250 new employees from Canada’s high-tech sector as well as towards the establishment of offices in Japan, Singapore and Korea. Some close sources reveal that the office in Singapore according will serve as a regional hub for Southeast Asia. The startup has plans to engage in making a series of startup acquisitions.
According to Zdnet.com, Element AI takes great pride in having succeeded at developing what it describes as a “unique, non-exploitative model of academic cooperation” and that is in conjunction with the Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms. Sources indicate that a wide range of other institutions have replicated it.
Element AI at the moment operates like what many would describe as a consulting firm and that is based on the fact that it helps organizations with limited AI experience deploy AI capabilities promptly without necessarily having to set up a dedicated internal team.
Gagné, the Element AI CEO while speaking to a number of top journalists said, “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.”
The startup is confident that its AI algorithms will be intelligent enough such that any organization will only have to plug in their datasets, and in a short while they will be able to generate insights. Element AI has much to gain from Nvidia’s software and its high performance GPUs at large scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues.