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#FundingAlert: Vishal Sikka's Vianai Systems raises $140 mn; Series B round led by Softbank Vision Funding 2

01:58 PM Jun 18, 2021 | FPJ Web Desk

Artificial Intelligence startup Vianai Systems, founded by former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, has raised $140 million in a Series B round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

Founded in 2019 with initial seed money of $50 million, to address the unfulfilled promise of enterprise AI, Vinai Systems’ customers include many of the largest and most respected businesses in the world, to which it delivers Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and data science platforms and products.

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Vianai would use the new capital to accelerate the delivery of its human-centered AI platform and products to enterprises worldwide, it said.

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“We have been working hard to build a better AI platform, one that puts human judgment at the center of systems that bring vast AI capabilities to amplify human potential,” Sikka, who is also CEO, said. “I am grateful for the trust and the confidence that our customers and our investors have put in us as we help enterprises achieve great, purposeful transformations with human-centered AI."

The Palo Alto-based firm was launched by Sikka in 2019, two years after his exit from Infosys, and has raised a total of $190 million, so far.

In a statement, Vianai said its pioneering human-centred AI approach amplifies human judgment thus empowering domain experts with AI tools to deliver powerful business value. Vianai has already delivered successful business outcomes to numerous world-leading enterprises, it said.

“Vianai’s human-centred approach to AI has been critical to the design of an advanced early warning system for our underwriters. The system, which extracts actionable insights from non-traditional data sources, has the potential to drive significant business value for us, and our customers,” said Dr Torsten Jeworrek, Member of the Group Executive Board and Global Head of Reinsurance at Munich Re.

"I am pleased to join Vianai as an advisor. I believe that AI is made by humans, intended to behave by humans, and, ultimately, to impact human lives and human society. Its success depends on how humans and AI work together," said Dr Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI.

"We are pleased to partner with Dr Sikka and the Vianai team to support their ambition to fulfill AI's promise to drive fundamental digital transformations," said Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Other Vianai investors include Jim Davidson (co-Founder of Silver Lake), Henry Kravis and George Roberts (co-founders of KKR), and Jerry Yang (founding partner of AME and co-founder of Yahoo! Inc. Joining Vianai’s previously announced advisory board is Dr Fei-Fei Li (co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI).

(With IANS, PTI inputs)

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