Vianai Systems, an AI startup founded by the former CEO of Indian IT services giant Infosys, said on Wednesday it had raised $ 140 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
The two-year-old startup said a number of industry luminaries have also participated in the new round, bringing its total increase to date to at least $ 190 million. The startup raised $ 50 million in its seed funding round, but nothing is known about the size of its Series A round.
Details on what exactly the Palo Alto-based startup is doing are unclear. In a press release, Dr Vishal Sikka said the startup is building a “better AI platform, which places human judgment at the center of systems that bring vast AI capabilities to amplify human potential.” Sikka, 54, resigned his leadership role at Infosys in 2017 after months of acrimony between the board of directors and a cohort of founders.
“Vianai helps clients amplify the transformational potential within their organizations using a variety of advanced AI and ML tools with a distinct approach in how it thoughtfully engages humans with technology. This human-centric approach sets Vianai apart from other platform and product companies and enables its customers to deliver on the true promise of AI, ”said the startup.
The startup says it has already racked up many of the world’s largest and most respected companies, including insurance giant Munich Re among its clients.
Its 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). Dr Fei-Fei Li (co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI) has joined the advisory board of Vianai Systems.
“With the AI revolution underway, we believe that Vianai’s human-centric AI platform and products provide global businesses with operational and customer information to make better business decisions,” said Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “We are delighted to partner with Dr Sikka and the Vianai team to support their ambition to deliver on AI’s promise to drive fundamental digital transformations. “