September 5th, 2019
Startup Aims to Democratize AIRSS Share Category: Community, Company, Events, Guest Posts, Makers
By: Ingrid Burton
Adam Janofsky at the Wall Street Journal wrote a wonderful article about our company, and our eloquent and philosophical CEO and Founder, Sri Ambati. The makers at H2O.ai believe deeply in our mission to democratize AI for everyone, and we can see a future where every company can be an AI company. Read more below, and enjoy!
Startup Aims to Democratize AI
H2O.ai, which has raised $72.5 million in new financing, argues that every company should be an AI company.
NEW YORK – An artificial-intelligence startup with a new influx of funding wants to make AI accessible to businesses that don’t have data scientists on their teams.
“Our vision is to make every company an AI company,” Sri Ambati, chief executive and founder of H2O.ai Inc., said Wednesday at the Ai4 Finance conference in Midtown Manhattan.
On Tuesday, the company said it raised $72.5 million in a round led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Ping An Global Voyager Fund, with continued investments from Wells Fargo & Co., Nvidia Corp. and Nexus Venture Partners.
H2O.ai, based in Mountain View, Calif., has raised a total of $147 million since it was founded in 2012.
The company sells software that helps businesses incorporate machine learning into their applications to make them more predictive. Its machine-learning platform is used by more than 18,000 companies, including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which uses it to price retail goods, and Capital One Financial Corp. , which uses it to help detect fraud, Mr. Ambati said. The platform offers a set of tools that are designed to simplify AI for nonexperts, and can be used for a range of applications.
Walgreens and Capital One didn’t respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
Mr. Ambati, who often wears a driving cap, positions himself as a distinctive technologist who isn’t afraid of mixing philosophy with business. In Wednesday’s presentation, Mr. Ambati read a haiku and quoted T.S. Eliot and the ancient Chinese text “I Ching” to a room of about 250 listeners.
“The only renewable resource in the world is love, and love can break the barrier of time,” he said, adding, “What is love really? It’s about perfect comprehension. The more we learn about something, the closer we are to the truth.”
In addition to founding H2O.ai, Mr. Ambati co-founded big-data analytics company Platfora Inc., which was acquired by Workday Inc. in 2016.
H2O.ai licenses its products to companies and charges them based on the number of users. It has tripled its customers over the past year-and-a-half, Mr. Ambati said.
“Our mission is to create a diverse set of AI juggernauts,” he said. “We want to empower a lot of entrepreneurs with AI.”