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September 13, 2019

Element AI nets £123m to advance enterprise artificial intelligence

By Lucy Ingham

Element AI, a developer of enterprise-targeted artificial intelligence products, has announced that is has raised CAD $200m (£123m) in a Series B financing round.

The investment round has seen the company attract several new high-profile investors, including the Government of Quebec, McKinsey & Company, which owns AI-powered analytics company QuantumBlack, and Canadian institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).

The round has also sees a number of Series A founders increase their investment in Element AI, including Data Collective, Hanwha Asset Management and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

The total raised by the AI company now stands at CAD $340m (£205m).

Element AI to advance real-world use of artificial intelligence

The funding will enable Element AI to advance its offerings to the enterprise world, allowing it to increase the real-world capabilities of AI, which often fall short of the potential the technology shows in lab settings.

“Operationalising AI is currently the industry’s toughest challenge, and few companies have been successful at taking proofs-of-concept out of the lab, imbedding them strategically in their operations, and delivering actual business impact,” said Jean-François Gagné, CEO of Element AI.

“We are proud to be working with our new partners, who understand this challenge well, and to leverage each other’s expertise in taking AI solutions to market.”

The funding round has also enabled a number of the company’s investors to further expand their reach in the AI space, which is increasingly being seen as a key strategic area.

“For McKinsey, this investment is all about helping our clients to further unlock the potential of AI and machine learning to improve business performance,” said Patrick Lahaie, senior partner and Montreal managing partner for McKinsey & Company.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with the talented team at Element AI in Canada and globally in our shared objective to turn cutting-edge thinking and technology into AI assets which will transform a wide range of industries and sectors.

“This investment fits into McKinsey’s long-term AI strategy, including the 2015 acquisition of QuantumBlack, which has grown substantially since then and will spearhead the collaboration with Element AI on behalf of our firm.”

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