Element AI, Entelo and CognitiveScale Attract VC Investments in AI

Friday Jun 16th 2017 by Pedro Hernandez
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This week, venture capital firms poured millions of dollars into companies that are driving artificial intelligence deeper into the enterprise.

It's been a busy week for venture capital (VC) firms and the artificial intelligence (AI) companies they're investing in.

Leading the pack in the latter category is Element AI, a Montreal-based company that builds AI solutions for enterprises and helps them get up to speed. On June 14, the company announced it had raised a whopping $102 million in a Series A investment round, the largest in history for an AI company.

The round was led by Data Collective and backed by a who's who of technology companies, including Microsoft Ventures, Intel Capital, Nvidia and China's Tencent. Real Ventures, the Development Bank of Canada, Fidelity Investments Canada and Hanwha Investment also participated.

Element AI plans to use the funds to invest in large-scale, international AI projects and bulk up its own capabilities.

"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 Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné, in a statement. "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."

Also this week, San Francisco-based Entelo reveled it had raised $20 million in a Series C round of funding led by U.S. Venture Partners with participation from Battery Ventures, Correlation Ventures and Shasta Ventures.

Entelo is a staffing technology company that uses big data analytics to help recruiters acquire talent. The money will be used to further invest in AI and increase hiring at the firm.

"The impact of data-driven and data science-driven talent acquisition is going to be tremendous," said Jon Bischke, founder and CEO of Entelo, in a June 16 announcement. "This round enables us to accelerate product development that will underscore Entelo's position as the market leader in applying the latest technologies to the hiring process."

CognitiveScale, raised $15 million from Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, The Westly Group and USAA. To date, CognitiveScale has raised $50 million to accelerate its industry-specific AI software development efforts, revealed the company in a June 13 media advisory.

CognitiveScale's clients include companies in the healthcare, financial services and commerce industries. "We have delivered real and measurable outcomes with some of the largest banks, healthcare and retail organizations, and are delighted to see the great client and investor demand for our enterprise AI products," boasted Akshay Sabhikhi, CEO of CognitiveScale, in a statement.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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