April 3, 2020
What Artificial Intelligence has in its baggage is known to everyone and thus realizing its potential its funding projections are expected to rise to $46 billion spending by 2020. Billions of dollars are being invested by the venture capital industry to catalyze the rapid technological breakthroughs to enable a future where AI seems plausible. Attaining utmost Superintelligence is still a matter of mystery, but today various industries have employed some of the most innovative forms of artificial intelligence to power our daily tasks. Serving with great benefits AI has endless applications.
To encourage those innovations, numerous investors are coming at the forefront to ignite the wave of the advanced fourth industrial revolution. Therefore, we have brought you some of the most recent and significant AI funding and investments of 2020.
Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, just raised billions of dollars from investors beyond its parent company for the first time as the perceived leader in autonomous technology accelerates R&D and enlarges its robotaxi and robotic truck fleets. The move may signal that it’s preparing to finally spin out of Alphabet.
Incubated at Alphabet’s X in Mountain View, California, Waymo said new investors in the round that’s initially raised $2.25 billion include Silicon Valley private equity and venture firms Silver Lake Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment. Magna International and AutoNation, which partner with Waymo’s operations for vehicle assembly and maintenance services, participated in the round as did Alphabet.
Datasaur, a company building a text data-labeling platform, last month announced it has raised a $1 million seed round from angel investors like Segment CTO Calvin French-Owen. Coming out of stealth recently, Datasaur was founded in February 2019 and uses semi-automated labeling and some pre-trained models to speed up the data-labeling process and fuel the improvement of natural language processing (NLP) models.
Datasaur was founded by Ivan Lee, who has spent the past seven years working as a product manager on AI ventures at companies like Yahoo, most recently for Apple’s Siri team. Before working at Apple, Lee sold mobile gaming startup Loki Studios to Yahoo in 2013.
Health Data Analytics
Health Data Analytics Institute (HDAI) is a case in point — its AI-powered platform analyzes over a billion patient encounters to improve health care outcomes. After several years of operating quietly under the radar, the company today revealed that it has raised $16 million, which it will use to launch an API that widens access to its clinical prediction service.
HDAI founder and CEO Nassib Chamoun says the company is already collaborating with organizations to measure the impact of its soon-to-be-expanded platform. HDAI recently received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support a project that will analyze the demand for long-term care. Separately, it’s working with New England Baptist Hospital to study the effectiveness of surgical and nonsurgical options for spinal procedures. It’s also partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to match patients with the appropriate level of presurgical support, using AI. And HDAI plans to team up with Houston Methodist to test clinical applications that would use its risk predictors.
unitQ, a real-time solution for staying on top of product quality across all platforms, languages, and regions, announced it raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Gradient Ventures, which is Google’s AI-focused venture fund. Creandum, XSeed Capital, Bragiel Brothers, and BootstrapLabs also joined this round.
In connection with this funding round, Gradient Ventures managing partner Anna Patterson is joining the board. And with this funding round, unitQ plans to hire and invest in new and existing product development. Plus the company is planning to bring unitQ Monitor to a broader market as it launches out of beta.
unitQ founders Christian Wiklund, David Eklov, and Niklas Lindstrom launched the company in response to the lack of customer-informed bug prioritization platforms while building their previous company Skout. Skout was acquired by The Meet Group in 2016.
Nationwide’s venture capital team is making an investment in Deep Sentinel, a residential and commercial security system provider that combines AI with human monitoring. According to Crunchbase, Nationwide Ventures is the only participant in the $16 million round, which brings the company’s funding to date to $23.4 million.
Founded in 2016, Deep Sentinel counts ~40 employees and is “the only AI-powered security provider with monitoring by live guards.” The cameras detect potential threats and guards watch people entering or exiting one’s home to provide an instant response with two-way audio.
The company recently unveiled a new product designed for small-to-medium businesses: Deep Sentinel for Business. The service offers after-hours protection against crimes like vandalism and theft, powered by weatherproof cameras.
Five, the UK startup developed self-driving software, has raised a $41 million Series B from Trustbridge Partners, Direct Line Group and Sistema VC. Existing investors Lakestar, Amadeus Capital Partners, Kindred Capital, and Notion Capital also participated.
In order for self-driving vehicles to take over the market and the roads, two things need to be in place: the technology, and the means to measure the safety of that technology. With total funding raised now at $77 million, the latest round will help turn the cloud-based development platforms into a new product, which the business can sell alongside its vehicle software.
Israeli AI chipmaker Hailo recently announced that it has raised a $60 million Series B funding round led by its existing investors, who were joined by new strategic investor ABB Technology Ventures, the venture arm of the Swiss-based multination ABB, NEC Corporation and Londons’ Latitude Ventures. The new funding will help Hailo to roll out its Hailo-8 Deep Learning chip and to get into new markets and industries.
“This immense vote of confidence from our new strategic and financial investors, along with existing ones, is a testimony to our breakthrough innovation and market potential,” said Orr Danon, CEO, and co-founder of Hailo. “The new funding will help us expedite the deployment of new levels of edge computing capabilities in smart devices and intelligent industries around the world, including areas such as mobility, smart cities, industrial automation, smart retail and beyond.”
Ada Support, a Toronto-based company developing AI-driven customer experiences, today revealed that it nabbed a $44 million series B tranche. Cofounder and CEO Mike Murchison says it will be used to scale Ada’s platform and provide enhanced functionality across traditional business silos, which could help organizations optimize customer service operations while improving overall customer satisfaction.
Accel led this latest funding round in Ada, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Firstmark, Version One, and Leaders Fund. It brings the company’s total raised to over $56 million following a $14 million Series A round in December 2018.
Helm.ai, a Menlo Park, CA-based scalable AI for autonomous driving, raised $13m in seed funding. Backers included A.Capital Ventures, Amplo, Binnacle Partners, Sound Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, SV Angel, Nicolas Berggruen, Charlie Cheever, Adam D’Angelo, Kevin Durant, David Petraeus, Navneet Dalal, Lee Linden and Vladimir Tenev, among others.
The company intends to use the funds to advance engineering and R&D and hire more employees. Founded in 2016, Helm.ai uses patent-pending unsupervised deep learning technology to provide AI software that powers autonomous vehicles by understanding sensor data.