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Element AI, a Montreal-based studio that tackles problems using machine learning systems, announced a whopping $102 million in funding today. Data Collective led the round, which is one of the largest series A rounds for an AI company to date.
The big check offers a massive war chest to Element, which connects businesses with machine learning experts who work to solve any problems they may have. Contributors to the round span a variety of sources, including Real Ventures, Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, National Bank of Canada, NVIDIA, and a wide range of sovereign wealth funds.
Thanks to the new funds, Element AI will be able to expand its physical footprint. The company is opening offices in Toronto and Asia, according to Jean-François Gagné, the company’s cofounder and CEO.
Element AI’s model is to connect companies with machine learning experts that can help solve specific issues. The company has a set of employees with deep expertise, and it also collaborates with university research teams to help find solutions.
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In Gagné’s view, Element AI provides a variety of benefits to its customers. It can serve as an AI think tank for established businesses while helping startups connect with larger customers and solve problems that would have otherwise been out of reach.
This funding round isn’t just unique because of how much the company was able to raise — it also brought competitors together on the term sheet. Intel Capital and NVIDIA both invested in the series A, something that Gagné said has never happened before.
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