Ping An co-leads $72.5mn funding round in AI startup H2O.ai
The investment arm of Shenzhen-based Ping An Insurance has contributed towards AI startup H2O.ai’s Series D funding round.
The $72.5mn fund was co-led by Goldman Sachs, with Nexus Venture Partners, Nvidia GPU Ventures and Wells Fargo also participating.
The $1bn Ping An Global Voyager Fund was established in 2017 with the express aim of investing in overseas startups. Focuses for the fund include fintech and digital health firms, categories in which H2O.ai does not necessarily fit.
However, in June, Ping An was recognised for its participation in a healthcare industry natural language processing competition, demonstrating the group’s interest in AI and its potential applications in the health industry.
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At the time, Dr Xie Guotong, Chief Healthcare Scientist of Ping An Group, said in a press release: “This outstanding achievement demonstrated the world-class healthcare Natural Language Processing technology capability of Ping An. Natural Language Processing is one of the most difficult challenges in AI.”
In light of this, Ping An’s investment reflects their interest in the possibilities enabled by the AI space. Sri Ambati, CEO and Founder at H2O.ai, said: "H2O.ai is democratizing AI and powering the imagination of every entrepreneur and business globally - we are making them the true AI superpowers. Our customers are unlocking discovery in every sphere and walk of life and challenging the dominance of technology giants. This will be fun."
"It's clear that H2O.ai has solutions that have global relevance and appeal,” said Donald Lacey, Managing Director and COO of the Ping An Global Voyager Fund. “Businesses around the world grapple with the challenge of applying machine learning in what are often resource constrained situations. We've been deeply impressed with the combination of technical sophistication and ease of use present in all of H2O.ai's offerings, and we look forward to helping expand the H2O.ai footprint in China and across Asia.”