Canvass Analytics today announced the closure of a $5 million funding round to explore applications of AI in industrial settings. The round was led by Gradient Ventures, an AI-focused investment fund created by Google in 2017.
Canvass Analytics is Gradient Ventures‘ fist investment outside the United States and its first leading investment in a company focused on making AI for industrial purposes.
“Autonomous operation is the holy grail of manufacturing, and AI is the game-changer that is making it a reality across the industrial landscape,” said Gradient Ventures founder and partner Ankit Jain in a statement shared with VentureBeat. “We’re backing Canvass Analytics because of its unique approach to implementing AI and predictive analytics quickly and in an automated manner, without the need for lengthy and often cost-prohibitive consulting engagements.”
Since its launch in 2016, Canvass Analytics has worked with automotive manufacturers, food and agricultural companies, and metal manufacturers by tapping into structured and unstructured data to help businesses automate various processes.
The funding will be used to expand operations to Europe and Asia and to hire additional engineers to grow the Canvass AI platform, Malik said.
Other participants in the $5 million round include Bedrock Industries, Viaduct Ventures, and existing investors Real Ventures and Barney Pell.
Last week, Google announced it had turned over control of one of its datacenters to an AI-powered recommender system jointly developed with DeepMind, part of a years-long effort to use neural networks to improve energy efficiency in its datacenters.
Canvass Analytics is engaged in ongoing conversations with Google about its efforts to improve energy efficiency using AI, company CEO Humera Malik told VentureBeat in a phone interview. Canvass Analytics declined to share the names of its many customers but said it has helped a steel manufacturer improve efficiency and removed more than 10 million pounds from the annual carbon footprint of a food processing plant.
Canvass Analytics is based in Toronto; San Francisco; and Basel, Switzerland. The company currently has 20 employees, and it plans to triple its employee count. Canvass Analytics was established in March 2016 and has raised $6.5 million to date.