Montreal’s AI darling Element AI today announced it has raised another $200 million, this time as a series B. This, after raising $137 million just two years ago. Since then, Element has opened several new offices, and invested lavish new headquarters here in Little Italy.
There was widespread speculation about the series B over the summer months. Today’s announcement brings in new investors including the Caisse de Depot et placements du Quebec, McKinsey & Company, as well as the Government of Quebec and also includes series A investors Real Ventures, BDC Capital, Hanwha Asset Management, DCVC and many others. This round brings the total raised by element AI so far to $340M, this amid talk of operational challenges confirmed today by the company’s CEO in a press release.
“Operationalizing AI is currently the industry’s toughest challenge, and few companies have been successful at taking proofs-of-concepts out of the lab, imbedding them strategically in their operations, and delivering actual business impact,” said Jean-François Gagné. “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 press release also explained that the new funding will be used to transform the company’s commercial operations, including global product and services development, and accelerating the commercialization of AI.
The announcement also speaks of future collaboration with new investor McKinsey & Company, as well as its AI subsidiary, Quantum Black which rose to prominence in the sports world before being acquired in 2015. Representatives of Quantum Black paid a visit to Montreal earlier this year, and spoke at the C2 conference in May, 2019.