Tech giant Microsoft, chip-maker NVIDIA and Intel have made the investment for a Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) start-up “Element AI”, the media reported. According to a report in Investopedia on Thursday, Microsoft made the investment through its venture capital arm Microsoft Ventures, while Intel did it through Intel Capital. Element AI, that came on the scene eight months ago, is a platform to help companies of all sizes build AI into their businesses and it has raised $102 million. Element AI will use the funding to hire more employees, to invest in big AI projects and to acquire start-ups in the space. “Artificial Intelligence is a ‘must have’ capability for global companies,” Jean-François Gagné, CEO Element AI, was quoted as saying.
“Without it, they are competitively impaired if not at grave risk of being obsoleted in place,” he added. Microsoft has earlier also backed a company that focused on AI. In May, it co-led a $7.6 million venture capital round of funding for Bonsai, the Berkeley, California-based AI start-up, and invested in Agolo, a New York City-based AI start-up.
NVIDIA is in the early stages of transitioning from a maker of PC graphics chips to a leader in AI, which could drive future growth, said Citi analyst, Atif Malik. “Element AI will benefit by continuing to leverage NVIDIA’s high performance GPUs and software at large scale to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues,” Jeff Herbst, Vice President Business Development at NVIDIA, said.