TechInAfrica – The Canadian startup Element AI has built an AI systems integrator to help other companies develop and implement artificial intelligence solutions, an ‘Accenture’ for machine learning, neural network-base solutions, computer vision applications, and many others. Known as a company which supports the non-technology related business to convert to the use of AI, it has now involved in the funding of 200 M Canadian dollars (or $151.3 M), which will be used to commercialize its products and continue its work on R&D, specifically on developing new AI solutions.
Jean-François (JF) Gagné, the CEO, once said, “Operationalising AI is currently the industry’s toughest challenge, and few companies have been successful at taking proofs-of-concept out of the lab, imbedding them strategically in their operations, and delivering actual business impact. “We are proud to be working with our new partners, who understand this challenge well, and to leverage each other’s expertise in taking AI solutions to market.”
The company has been discreet about the funding, but PitchBook noted that Element AI had a post-money valuation of $300 M, as confirmed by a figure close to the company. Now the valuation ranges between $600 M to $700 M, which showcases the startup growth despite its discreetness. The funding is led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), McKinsey & Company, and its advanced analytics company QuantumBlack; and also the Québec government. Previous investors DCVC (Data Collective), Hanwha Asset Management, BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada), Real Ventures and others also participated, with the total raised to date now at C$340 million ($257 million). Other strategic investors in the company have included Microsoft, NVIDIA and Intel.
When the startup first formed, it already served a unique premise, as it is born to connect the divisive nature of technology business and the non-technology ones, as the startup can help the latter on identifying a problem undetected by AI while investing in or built the required technology in doing that. Now it offers diverse services, from insurance products to financial, manufacture, logistics, and even retail, and that list will likely grow with time.