Two A&S artificial intelligence (AI) companies have been named in CB Insights’ sixth annual AI 100 list, which aims to highlight the most promising and innovative private AI startups in the world.
One such industry-specific company is Waabi, which was launched last June by Canadian AI luminary and U of T A&S Professor Raquel Urtasun. Waabi is developing an end-to-end trainable platform for self-driving that is capable of complex reasoning.
Waabi emerged from stealth with over $100 million CAD ($83.5 million USD) in Series A funding. This financing marked one of the largest rounds of initial financing ever raised by a Canadian startup. Waabi’s investors include Khosla Ventures, 8VC, Uber, BDC Capital, OMERS Ventures, and Toronto’s Radical Ventures.
Co-founded by CEO Aidan Gomez (BSc 2018), Nick Frosst (BSc 2016), and Ivan Zhang in 2019, Cohere aims to make natural language processing (NLP) more accessible.
Cohere claims its API enables companies to deploy NLP capabilities across their businesses without requiring supercomputing infrastructure or AI expertise. The startup noted this feature “radically reduces the cost for companies of all sizes to access leading AI models.”
In February last year, Cohere secured $159 million CAD ($125 million USD) in Series B financing to fuel its US expansion plans. Cohere also previously raised $50.4 million CAD ($40 million USD) for its Series A round, in which Radical Ventures participated, along with Waabi’s Urtasun.
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