AI startup Petuum secures $93mn from SoftBank

By : |October 11, 2017 0

SoftBank has invested $93 million in an AI startup named Petuum, that simplifies the use of machine learning or deep learning at a large scale for companies. In addition to SoftBank, the round included participation from returning investor Advantech Capital and others.

The startup, which is led by three AI researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, develops software tools designed to automate the complicated technical groundwork involved in implementing neural networks. Founder, Chief Executive, and Chief Scientist Eric Xing said in a statement that the company believes “AI should be standardized, accessible and mass-producible so that all can benefit.”

The company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is working to create a platform for building machine learning and deep learning applications through its own custom virtualization and operating system.

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“We are firm believers in the value that AI can bring to a broad range of industries,” said Deep Nishar, SoftBank’s managing partner. “Petuum’s work will finally help to unlock that value,” he further added.

Petuum said it had raised a total of $108 million so far including the latest round. Other investors in the firm include China’s Tencent Group Holding Ltd., Oriza Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital.

Petuum says that it will use the new funding to step up product development and customer acquisition efforts. It will also focus on deploying its system in specific industries that have high AI potential but low adaptation, such as manufacturing and healthcare. The latest capital infusion makes Petuum one of the best-funded AI development startups.

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