A three-year-old Canadian AI technology software maker has scooped $151 million (CAD 200 million) in Series B funding from investors led by global Management Consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, and subsidiary, QuantumBlack. The startup company is – Element AI. They are the makers of ready-to-implement AI product suite, developed by world-class AI talent.
We have never been more excited for what is coming next and are thankful to all the individuals who support our vision 💜
— Element AI (@element_ai) September 13, 2019
The Series B funding, led by McKinsey & Company, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, QuantumBlack, and Gouvernement du Québec takes Element AI‘s total financing to $257 million. Series A investors also participated in this Canada Tech start-up’s funding round which includes DCVC (Data Collective), Hanwha Asset Management, BDC Capital, Real Ventures and many others.
Element AI to accelerate the deployment and commercialization of solutions that meet customer needs for the operationalization of AI while continuing to develop AI products.
McKinsey’s Role in Developing and Financing AI-powered Analytics Technology Market
Element AI funding news comes within a year of McKinsey’s Advanced Analytics and AI arm, QuantumBlack, launching its first Canadian office in Montreal.
Patrick Lahaie, Senior Partner and Montreal Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company, said –
“For McKinsey, this investment is all about helping our clients to further unlock the potential of AI and Machine Learning to improve business performance. 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.”
In a McKinsey blog, the company underlined the need for a multi-dimensional growth and collaboration between AI startups, tech leaders, and the public sector. It stated how the successful adoption of AI and other advanced technologies will require cooperation from multiple stakeholders, especially business leaders and the public sector.
At the time of this announcement, Element AI CEO Jean-François (JF) Gagné, stated –
“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. 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.”
Charles Émond, EVP and Head of Québec Investments and Global Strategic Planning at la Caisse, added, “With this transaction, we are investing capital and expertise alongside partners who are ideally suited to transform Element AI into a company with a commercial focus that anticipates and creates AI products to address clients’ needs. Through this fund, la Caisse wants to actively contribute to build and strengthen Québec’s global presence in Artificial Intelligence.”
This transaction is part of the CDPQ-AI Fund recently created by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec to accelerate the commercialization of Artificial Intelligence solutions.
Since its inception in 2016, Element AI has made it to headlines in the Canadian tech industry. In April 2019, the Canadian AI company announced its partnership with the country’s oldest property and casualty insurer – Gore Mutual. This made Element AI among the first to integrate AI-powered Underwriting Partner products to deliver highly accelerated, accurate, and impartial quotes to ease the underwriting process for fair and informed decisions. It has expanded its footprint to Canada and London, UK, in addition to creating AI funds in the Asian market.