Element AI, an artificial intelligence company that delivers groundbreaking AI solutions has announced it has raised $102M USD, representing the largest Series A funding round for an artificial intelligence company in history. With this funding, Element AI will accelerate its capabilities and invest in large-scale AI projects internationally, solidifying its position as the largest global AI company in Canada and creating 250 jobs in the Canadian high tech sector by January 2018.
Element AI solves impossible problems for global organizations that urgently need to use AI in combination with their proprietary and valuable data to leap ahead of their competitors. 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 empower industry with the massive scale of academic AI innovation Bengio was driving at the world-leading Montreal Institute of Learning Algorithms (MILA).
Together with MILA, one of the three leading centers of AI research in the world, Element AI pioneered a unique, non-exploitative model of academic cooperation they have now replicated to many other institutes. This model provides Element AI with insight, talent, and cutting-edge research that matches or exceeds even the largest tech corporations’ reach and budgets.
Data Collective (DCVC) led the funding round with participation from the Real Ventures, Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Fidelity Investments Canada, Hanwha Investment, Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, National Bank of Canada, NVIDIA, Tencent, and several of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. In addition to laying the groundwork to hire hundreds of top researchers, this new funding will enable Element AI to aggressively expand on a global scale focusing on AI-powered solutions for their customers in cybersecurity, fintech, manufacturing, logistics and transportation, and robotics.
“Artificial Intelligence is a ‘must have’ capability for global companies,” said Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné. “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. 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.”
“The most serious problems facing global industry and government today involve too much complex and rapidly changing data for the cognitive capacity of even large numbers of human experts working together,” said DCVC Managing Partner Matt Ocko. “These groups – and the customers and citizens they serve – need intelligent systems that can work in concert with them to field that scale and complexity. We’re proud to back Element AI and their team of world-class researchers and engineers, who are already solving multiple global-class problems.”
“Intel is all-in on AI,” said Naveen Rao, VP & GM of Intel’s Artificial Intelligence Products Group (AIPG). “In addition to hardware, we’re committed to developing the software ingredients necessary to accelerate complex, data-intensive processes. Such an endeavor means investing in the best minds in the world and Element AI has the intellectual horsepower to help us all advance artificial intelligence like never before.”
“Element AI is doing amazing work enabling AI for a wide variety of industries, leveraging NVIDIA’s deep learning platform,” said Jeff Herbst, Vice President of Business Development at NVIDIA. “Element AI will benefit by continuing to leverage NVIDIA’s high performance GPUs and software at large scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues.”
The Canadian Business Quarterly (The CBQ) provides an in-depth view of business and economic development issues taking place across the country. Featuring interviews with top executives, government policy makers and prominent industry bodies The CBQ examines the news beyond the headlines to uncover the drivers of local, provincial, and national affairs. All copy appearing in The Canadian Business Quarterly is copyrighted. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without written permission. Any financial advice published in The Canadian Business Quarterly or on www.TheCBQ.ca has been prepared without taking in to account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any reader. Neither The Canadian Business Quarterly nor the publisher nor any of its employees hold any responsibility for any losses and or injury incurred (if any) by acting on information provided in this magazine or website. All opinions expressed are held solely by the contributors and are not endorsed by The Canadian Business Quarterly or www.TheCBQ.ca. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but neither the editor nor the publisher can be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The publisher is not responsible for material submitted for consideration. The CBQ is published by Romulus Rising Pty Ltd, ABN: 77 601 723 111.