H2O.ai has raised $100 million with a preliminary estimate of $1.6 billion for tools that bring AI to all businesses

H2O.ai has raised $100 million with a preliminary estimate of $1.6 billion for tools that bring AI to all businesses

Startup H2O.ai, which has developed an open-source framework and proprietary applications that make it easy to build and operate AI-powered services for any enterprise, has generated a lot of interest as AI applications become more common and businesses evolve beyond them. I did. Not only tech companies, but also want to get involved. It has now raised $100 million to support growth, a funding round that values ​​H2O.ai by mail at $1.7 billion  ($1.6 billion paid out). This is a Series E round and is led by the startup's client, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which will use the support to launch a deeper partnership between the two. to create a new service.

Other participants in this round include Goldman Sachs, Pivot Investment Partners, Crane Venture Partners, and Celesta Capital. Additional funding plans typically include hiring additional experts to build more products for H2O.ai  and continue to expand the company's H2O AI hybrid cloud platform. This is not the first time that a customer has led around as a strategic backer: in 2019, Goldman Sachs. As a sign of how the company has been growing, and the general appetite for what it does, H2O`s valuation has leapfrogged since that last round when it was valued at $400 million, per.

Mountain View-based H2O.ai has raised $246.5 million to date. The fact that both of the last rounds have been led by big banks that are also customers of H2O.ai`s speaks a lot to where the opportunity has been for the startup. Sri Ambati, the founder and CEO (who previously was also a co-founder of Platfora, which was acquired by Workday), told me over email that about 40% of the company`s revenues currently come from the very wide and all encompassing world of financial services. "Retail finance, credit cards, payments - from PayPal to MasterCard, almost all payment processors are H2O customers," he said.

On the equity side, the company uses H2O technology to provide fixed income services, asset management and mortgage security, and MarketAxess, Franklin Templeton and BNY Mellon are also "strong" customers, he said. He also added that business additions are increasing in other verticals. Unilever, Reckitt P&G is part of the Consumer Goods business. UPS is one of the users in the field of logistics and shipping. Chipotle is  one of those people who work in the catering industry. AT&T said it was "one of our biggest customers." COVID-19 also played a role here. "The supply chain disruption and demand perception has made manufacturing a fast-growing vertical industry," he said of the pandemic.

“We launched H2O AI Health to help  hospitals and service providers, payers like Aetna, and pharmaceutical customers.” In particular, H2O.ai is starting to work more with other tech companies looking to incorporate more AI into their  workflows to serve their  customers. “Our recent wins are in vertical clouds and SaaS ISVs,” Ambati said. The company has provided the service with an open-source component they call “in-house” that is  used by more than 20,000 businesses today, in part because of  its flexibility. H2O.ai claims that its open source platform runs on top of existing big data infrastructure,  bare metal or  existing Hadoop, Spark or Kubernetes clusters and can receive data directly from HDFS, Spark, S3, Azure Data Lake or  other data. From Origin to Internal Storage Distributed Key Value Store.

Speaking of open source tools, Ambati said, "Our open source platform gives  our customers the freedom to create exceptional and unparalleled AI centers." It's like Tenzing's Sherpa in the mountains, helping customers overcome and conquer the heights of artificial intelligence." This framework can be used by engineers to create custom applications, and the proprietary H2O.ai tool provides more complete applications in areas such as fraud detection, churn prediction, anomaly detection, price optimization and credit scoring.

Massive amounts of data  to  better understand what's going to happen next: they can supplement what human analysts and data scientists can find, or  in some cases take over the more basic tasks they can do. There are currently  45 applications in total. Ambati said the plan will create more apps over time and host them in specific categories of "app stores", with a variety of pre-built tools tailored to their individual needs, Ambati said. H2O.ai's uptrend is now gaining momentum for several years now. Artificial intelligence holds great promise in the corporate IT world.

When used properly, tools such as machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision can improve productivity or  open up whole new areas of opportunity for your organization. Over time, businesses can save  billions of dollars in operational and other costs. One big problem, however, is that  organizations often lack an internal team to create or implement projects that use AI without taking into account the fact that this entire infrastructure will need to be updated as requirements and parameters evolve. do.

Technology today affects everyone in a business, but not all businesses are tech companies. H2O.ai is neither the first nor the only startup to try to fill this gap in the market. In particular, Canada's Element.AI, built on top of 4,444 large tech companies like Microsoft and Nvidia, has also addressed the idea of ​​democratizing AI for the wider corporate world  that may lack the resources to build and run AI tools. However, many AI tech companies have been able to infiltrate their spaces and profit a lot from them before their businesses are simply eroded. Particular attention was paid to the integration.