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Friday, September 13, 2019

Element AI Financing

Had seen this mentioned in the supply chain space:

Element AI closes financing, securing $200-million backed by the Caisse, Quebec and McKinsey

Montreal artificial intelligence startup Element AI Inc. has closed its second large financing round, announcing Friday it had raised US$151.4-million ($200-million), two years after it secured more than US$100-million from a collection of global investors.

While the financing is one of the largest for an early stage technology company in Canada this year, it comes after a challenging period for the startup, co-founded with global fanfare three years ago by one of the pioneers in the deep learning field, Université de Montréal professor Yoshua Bengio and a group of entrepreneurs led by CEO Jean-Francois Gagné.

Element is developing software to help corporations in the financial services and supply chain and logistics sectors to improve their operations using AI-based tools, working with institutions including global bank HSBC and Cambridge, Ont. insurance firm Gore Mutual. Element set out at least 15 months ago on a global search to raise up to US$250-million and at one point last fall was in advanced discussions with Asian investment giant Softbank. By this summer it had scaled back its goal to a range of between US$150-million and US$250-million, sources told the Globe. In the end the deal came together with significant backing from hometown pension giant Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Quebec government of Francois Legault, which deemed the startup to be “of significant economic interest to Quebec” in a cabinet missive this summer.  ... " 

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