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What are the Trends in Funding for Artificial Intelligence?

03 Aug 17

Securing funding for Artificial Intelligence innovation is not as hard as it used to be - if you follow tech news you will know that AI is currently the byword with everyone from Google to the UK Government betting on it being the answer to generating wealth over the next few years. But who is supporting new kids on the block that want to push forward this tech?

Companies are mixing and matching funding from wherever they can get it including Government and EU backed grants such as those provided by Innovate UK and for innovation in the healthcare sector, SBRI has recently announced a new funding round (see links in footer). 

A fascinating piece of research that came out at the end of 2016
Artificial Intelligence in the UK: Landscape and learnings from 226 startups 
(posted by David Kelnar, Investment Director & Head of Research at MMC Venture) found that:

“in the UK a sizeable minority of companies jump from a seed rounds to a much larger raise than is typical for a subsequent round. 1 in 3 UK AI companies that raised more than $8m in a funding round raised less than $1m previously.”

One of the reasons given for this trend in making a rapid shift up the funding scale is that there are limited investment opportunities in AI.

The CBI is concerned that in the UK the digital gap will expand - in their article:

Half of firms expect AI to transform their industry they found that:

“Nearly half of firms believe the current wave of Artificial Intelligence will be transformational and widespread; fundamentally transforming the industry and markets they work in. However, only a third feel their business has the skills to adopt data-driven technologies.”

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) investment is gaining momentum with 42% of companies planning to invest over the next five years (Internet of Things – 42% / Advanced Analytics – 51%)”

A few examples of successful funding for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning seed companies are listed below:

At the end of 2016 

UK Tech News announced that: “ABAKA, an AI-powered savings platform, has received £520,000 in Seed funding in a round led by Anthemis Exponential Ventures.

Action.Ai received a £41.7k Emerging & Enabling grant with Innovate UK (IUK) in 2016 and
UK Business Angels Association announced in early 2017 that: “Action.Ai closed a £515K investment round which included participation from Angels in The City (AiTC), LBA private investors, and the London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF). The company has developed a unique platform to enable enterprises to launch high-quality smart chatbots in a market potentially worth over £200bn by 2020.”

In March 2017
FinSMEs announced that: “Aiden, a London, UK-based developer of a machine learning-powered personal assistant for mobile marketers, raised $750k in seed funding. Backers included Kima Ventures and angel investors Nicolas Pinto, Pierre Valade and Jonathan Wolf.”

Follow these links for more on funding from:

Innovate UK 


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