The disruptive technologies these days are getting lots of attention in the global technology market. Particularly, artificial intelligence is one such technology that is making headlines every day. With new inventions and innovations, more and more companies are emerging across the industry to offer something that was never explored before. Most of all, various rising start-ups and other AI-based companies are securing hefty amounts of investment from significant investors every now and then. The beginning of new year marked the commencement of new era of innovation with several investors coming forward to contribute to the transformative journey of emerging innovators.
Here is the list of top 10 AI funding that made the headlines in January 2020.
Clearcover, a digital car insurance provider, has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by Omers Ventures. The raise comes just under one year after the Chicago-based, three-year-old startup closed a US$ 43 million Series B, and brings its total raised to US$ 104.5 million. Existing backers American Family Ventures, Cox Enterprises and IA Capital Group also participated in this latest round. The company declined to reveal its valuation.
According to Kyle Nakatsuji, co-founder and CEO of Clearcover, the company had raised its Series B with the intent of growing its team and continuing to build out its platform. It also aimed to grow its partnerships and grow its state footprint. And it plans to do more of the same with its Series C money. Clearcover currently has 130 employees, up from 44 one year ago. It plans to add another 50 to 100 people over the next year, according to Nakatsuji.
Behavioral-biometrics company TypingDNA announced that it raised a US$7 million Series A round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund. Other participants include EU-based fund GapMinder, Techstars Ventures and other prior investors. The company plans to use this new investment to expand its developer support network and offer more tools to integrate their API with existing website development platforms.
“Advancing the research and distribution of typing biometrics is of global importance. Keyboards are incorporated in almost any device today, making typing behavior the most widely available user biometric. This round of funding will allow us to further our mission to provide user-friendly, non-intrusive biometrics and increased security to people around the world,” said Raul Popa, CEO and Co-founder at TypingDNA.
Cardiologs, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) cardiology diagnostics, announced that it has secured US$15 million in Series A funding, bringing the total capital raised since Cardiologs’ inception to more than US$25 million. The financing round was led by Alven, a leading venture capital firm in Paris known for its impressive track record of investing in and expanding into the U.S. successful technology startups founded by French entrepreneurs. Previous backers Bpifrance, ISAI, Kurma Diagnostics, Idinvest Partners and Paris Saclay Seed Fund also participated in the round.
“We have developed a new category of heart disease diagnostic products powered by AI that promise to revolutionize healthcare by delivering accurate, cost-effective and timely expert-level diagnostics,” said Yann Fleureau, co-founder and CEO of Cardiologs. “We are excited to work with our new partners at Alven and other earlier investors as we enter the next critical stage of our evolution as a company.”
Soul Machines, an AI research company, announced that it has raised US$40 million in a series B financing round led by Singapore’s Temasek. Lakestar and Salesforce Ventures, along with existing investors Horizons Ventures and University of Auckland Inventors Fund, also participated in the round.
Founded in 2016, Soul Machines combines AI, computational brain models, and experiential learning to develop its autonomous animation platform. It can create lifelike, emotionally responsive “digital heroes,” or virtual humans, with personality and character that allow machines to talk to humans face to face.
Soul Machines said it plans to use its new capital to continue expanding and increasing its operating footprint globally, with a specific focus on research and development. The startup has deployed its HumanOS platform and created digital heroes for some global brands in retail, automotive, banking and finance, software and technology, healthcare, energy, and education industries.
Corvus announced that it has secured US$32 million in Series B venture funding. The round was led by Telstra Ventures, with participation from Obvious Ventures as well as existing Corvus investors including .406 Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and Hudson Structured Capital Management. Marcus Bartram, Partner at Telstra Ventures, joined Corvus Board of Directors.
With this latest round of funding, the company will continue growing within its existing product lines as well as accelerating the development of new technologies and tools to improve risk management, particularly to meet the needs of larger clients dealing with complex cyber risk.
Corvus believes that commercial insurance has failed both brokers and policyholders when it comes to cyber risk, and it is obsessed with changing that outcome. The company sees a future where brokers act as educated advisors on cyber risk, armed with better options for risk assessment, coverage and risk management for their clients.
Empowering brokers to provide this level of service to clients of all sizes, large and small, is how Corvus will make the world safer. The company’s website noted, “We are so pleased to have the support of investors who share in this vision.”
Evolv Technology, a Waltham-based startup that makes security screening technology company announced it raised US$30 million in Series C funding with participation from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s firm, Finback Investment Partners. Existing investors, including Bill Gates, DCVC (Data Collective) and Lux Capital also contributed.
“Evolv is the human security company that delivers the best approach to maintaining society’s freedom of movement while dramatically reducing threats to our schools, places of worship, entertainment venues and other public spaces,” cybersecurity veteran and company CEO Peter George said in a statement. “Our systems remove the tradeoff between safety and the inconvenience of an intrusive screening experience.”
The company also has an experienced board, boasting several former CIA and FBI members, the former head of secret service and a former White House National Security advisor. To date, Evolv has raised a total of US$75 million and says this most recent funding will be used to expand sales, marketing, customer support, channel programs and product development.
The New York based company that has created robotic kiosks that can duplicate keys, has announced it raised US$35 million in a financing round led by Brentwood Associates. This follows BlackRock’s US$50 million investment in KeyMe last year.
“We’re building a new type of robotics and AI company to challenge the customer experience standards in the $12 billion a year locksmith industry,” KeyMe founder and CEO Greg Marsh said in a statement. “We are excited to work with the Brentwood team to expand our services to build the most trusted brand in the locksmith industry.”
KeyMe’s strength is its ubiquity. The company has over 3,000 kiosks located in retail stores like Ikea, 7-Eleven, Rite Aid, Kmart and Bed Bath & Beyond across 49 states. Through its partnerships with these companies, KeyMe is able to locate its kiosks in high-traffic locations in neighbourhoods across the country.
Zinier, a provider of intelligent field service automation, has raised US$90 million in Series C funding to transform field service workforces with AI-driven automation. New investor ICONIQ Capital led the round with new participation from Tiger Global Management, and return investors Accel, Founders Fund, Nokia-backed NGP Capital, France-based Newfund Capital and Qualcomm Ventures LLC. The funding will support global customer adoption and expansion of Zinier’s AI-driven field service automation platform, ISAC.
“Services that we rely on every day – electricity, transportation, communication – are getting by on centuries-old infrastructure that requires a major upgrade for the next generation of users,” said Arka Dhar, co-founder and CEO of Zinier. “A field service workforce powered by both people and automation is necessary to execute the massive amount of work required to not only maintain these critical human infrastructures, but to also prepare for growth. Our team is focused on enabling this transformation across industries through intelligent field service automation.”
Verbit, a Tel Aviv and New York-based startup that provides AI-assisted transcription and captioning services to professional users, announced that it has raised a US$31 million Series B round led by growth equity firm Stripes. Existing investors Viola Ventures, Vertex Ventures, HV Ventures, Oryzn Capital and ClalTech also participated in the round; this brings the company’s total funding, which includes a US$23 million Series A round in 2019, to US$65 million.
The three-year-old company plans to use the new funding to expand to new verticals and add new languages. Currently, its focus is on the media and legal industries, as well as educational institutions. In total, the company currently has more than 150 customers, including Harvard, Stanford and Coursera. Verbit also plans to double its headcount in 2020.
“When I established Verbit three years ago, I didn’t anticipate we would become one of the market-leading companies in our industry so quickly,” said Tom Livne, CEO and co-founder of Verbit. “This latest financing round is an important milestone in Verbit’s journey and strengthens the incredible momentum we had in 2019. The collaboration with Stripes is a great indicator of Verbit’s category-leading product and will allow us to continue innovating in the market.”
Snyk, a security startup, has raised US$150 million in the latest round of funding. The Series C funding has put the company’s valuation at more than US$1 billion. The latest round of funding will be used to drive Snyk’s product innovation and scale its business for more significant expansion into Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions.
The investment round was led by Stripes, a New York City investment firm, with help from Coatue, Tiger Global, BoldStart, Trend Forward, Amity and Salesforce Ventures. The company reports it has now raised more than $250 million. The idea behind Snyk is to fit security firmly in the development process. Rather than offloading it to a separate team, something that can slow down a continuous development environment, Snyk builds in security as part of the code commit.
CEO Peter McKay, who came on board last year as the company was making a move to expand into the enterprise, says the open-source product drives the revenue-producing products and helped attract this kind of investment. “Getting to funding round was the momentum in the open source model from the community to freemium to [land] and expand — and that’s where we are today.”