AI-backed cloud platform H2O.ai recently announced that it has closed a $100 million funding round led by one of its customers, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with participation from Goldman Sachs, Pivot Investment Partners and several others.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, or CommBank, is one of more than 20,000 organisations that use H2O.ai’s namesake artificial intelligence development platform as part of their machine learning initiatives. The startup also counts Nvidia Corp. and AT&T Inc. among its customers.
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H2O.ai’s platform, the H2O AI Cloud, aims to simplify much of the work involved in machine learning projects as building an enterprise AI model involves numerous highly technical tasks that require specialised know-how and take up a great deal of time when done manually. Furthermore, once development is complete, and a neural network runs in production, ensuring it operates reliably represents another major technical challenge.
The H2O AI Cloud also helps with the feature engineering phase of AI projects. Feature engineering is the process by which an AI is trained on which factors it should consider most strongly when making a decision, a task that H2O.ai promises to simplify with its platform.
“H2O.ai is picking winners in every vertical on every continent and making our customers AI superpowers to take on the tech giants. CommBank and H2O.ai are led by our core belief that we can make the world better while serving our communities and customers with excellence,” said Sri Ambati, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, H2O.ai.
CommBank Chief Executive Officer, Matt Comyn, said, “The collaboration will bolster the bank’s analytic capabilities and help improve the predictive accuracy of existing models, so we’re able to offer more personalised and targeted solutions at a faster rate.”
H2O.ai has secured more than $250 million in funding to date. The startup says it raised the $100 million round announced today at a pre-money valuation of $1.6 billion. The proceeds from the round, H2O.ai added, will be used to grow its workforce, add more features and launch new products.
H2O.ai and CommBank announced a partnership today in conjunction with the startup’s funding news. Since its previous funding round in 2019, H2O.ai has added a long list of capabilities to its platform to automate other aspects of machine learning projects. Among the additions are more than 45 pre-packaged AI applications aimed at several different industries, including healthcare, finance, retail and manufacturing, among others.