New funding for AI startups in devices, energy and healthcare unveiled

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Plenty of funding is currently swirling around in the field of artificial intelligence across various sectors; take the £84 million announced earlier this month by the UK government around AI, robotics research and smart energy innovation, as well as $2 billion committed by DARPA. Three of the latest funding round announcements showcase a wide range of solutions, from energy to healthcare.

US-based AI semiconductor manufacturer Syntiant raised $25 million (£19.5m) in its latest series B funding round that was led by Microsoft Corp.’s venture fund: M12. Strategic investors like Amazon Alexa Fund, Applied Ventures, Intel Capital, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital were also part of this fundraiser. At this event, Syntiant also announced that it is expanding its board to five members by appointing Samir Kumar, managing director of M12, and Bret Johnsen, CFO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). He will serve as an independent director.

Syntiant is developing semiconductor solutions designed from the ground up for deep learning inference. Syntiant’s neural decision processors (NDPs) use an analogue neural network offers orders of magnitude lower power by extreme memory efficiency along with massively parallel computation with modest precision. This is done without the constraints of legacy processor architectures. The company enables always-on deep learning inference in battery-powered devices that are ideal for applications like hearing aids and IoT, smart speakers and mobile phones, etc.

Canadian language translation services provider Knowtions Research also raised $5 million (£3.9m) in series A funding round led by Information Venture Partners, with participation from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. Knowtions intends to help health insurers in a time when the rapidly increasing healthcare costs are threatening to make insurance policies less affordable for people. The company wants to reverse this trend and is working towards transformation of such health insurers with the power of AI.

Knowtions has developed an AI platform, called Lydia, which helps health insurers unlock and use predictive insights in unusable health data. It learns how people seek medical care globally to make predictions on fraudulent behaviour and health risks. Insurers can use these predictions to create AI-assisted workflows that automate claims processing and personalise customer experience.

Grid4C, an Israeli developer of AI and machine learning solutions for the energy industry, has also raised a $5 million led by ICV — a venture capital firm focused on industrial technology, backed by French energy giant ENGIE and other leading utilities in Europe and in Asia. iAngels and AxessVentures were also among the list of investors.

The company is working with the leading utility companies across the world, delivering billions of predictions for millions of smart meters every day. The company’s analytics solutions leverage the ability of AI and data science to offer utilities with granular predictions and actionable insights for their operations and customer-facing applications.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and their use cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

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