Artificial Intelligence Startups Attracting Investors Interest
EdGE Networks, an AI-driven HR tech solutions company, on Monday announced that it has secured $4.5 million in Series A funding led by Kalaari Capital with Ventureast as co-investor.
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The startup harnesses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science to solve the toughest talent acquisition and workforce optimisation challenges faced by large and mid-sized organisations and has delivered significant cost and efficiency benefits to its enterprise customers.
Arjun Pratap, founder and CEO of EdGE Networks, said, “We are delighted to partner with our new investors whose collective track-record and experience of building companies will be invaluable as we work together to build a best-in-class HR technology company to transform workforces. The funding will allow us to strengthen our technology, expand our team and move forward to realise our global ambitions.”
Data Playing a Bigger Role
The revival of interest in machine learning has been driven by a confluence of factors, such as the massive increase in computing power and the easy availability of vast amounts of data, thanks to the Internet.
This month, AI driven e-commerce fraud prevention startup ThirdWatch too raised an undisclosed angel funding, led by Rahul Agarwalla from the Indian Angel Network.
Adarsh Jain, co-founder and CEO of ThirdWatch, said, “We are incredibly privileged to be invested in by such an amazing group of investors. We believe that their experience and in-depth knowledge would provide a significant boost to our quest to build and introduce innovative technological advances using AI and Big Data Analytics in the retail and e-commerce industry in India.”
“The IAN Fund is delighted to make its first investment in Thirdwatch, an AI driven fraud detection solution for India’s digital transaction platforms.” said Padmaja Ruparel, co-founder IAN and managing partner, IAN Fund.
Data has become a very relevant point. Whatever you do produces data. Businesses are producing data; data is all around us. Products of the future would be [those] that use these data more intelligently than others. With computation power and networks available, you can afford to run artificial intelligence solutions and derive data and real-time intelligence.
“Our theory is that for data to play a big role, AI must play a bigger role. More companies seem to be adopting it to make a difference to their customers. The next wave will come from AI-powered products,” quoted Manish Singhal of pi Ventures.
The VC fund aims to raise $30 million; it has already attracted investors such as International Finance Corporation, Accel Partners, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and prominent angel investor TV Mohandas Pai. The fund has backed four startups and will invest in a total of 18-20 startups.
Singhal adds, “AI is a means to an end. All these companies are solving real problems. We haven’t seen a big winner yet. Maybe in another two to three years, we should see some global names coming out of India.”
Apparently, in India alone the number of startups booming in the space touches 200+, with investments flowing from all major investors. Some AI startups that are making a headway in all the major sectors include Arya.ai, Boxx.ai, Embibe, Tricog and Zenatix, among others.
Internet companies tap machine learning techniques for a range of uses—to recommend products for you, for instance, or to predict where cabs should be placed so that when you open your cab-hailing app, there’s one a couple of minutes’ drive away. Healthcare startups use AI to help hospitals make speedy and accurate blood reports and medical diagnoses, saving lives. Others get fashion brands and retailers to buy the right quantities of stock. It shows a wide array of AI applications for nearly every sector.