[Funding Alert] H2O.ai raises $72.5 M in Series D from Goldman Sachs, Ping An

This freshly raised capital will help H2O.ai to accelerate innovation, expand its marketing and sales efforts, and simplify AI for business users.

H2O.ai raised Series D funding of $72.5 million, led by Goldman Sachs and Ping An Global Voyager Fund. With this investment, Goldman Sachs' Jade Mandel will be joining H2O.ai's Board of Directors. Existing investors Wells Fargo, NVIDIA, and Nexus Venture Partners also joined this round of funding.

This funding brings the total investment raised by H2O.ai to $147 million. The startup said that this round will help it to accelerate its innovation, and expand its marketing and sales efforts globally. It will also help the team further simplify AI for business users with newer technologies.

Founded in 2012, H2O.ai has been focussed on democratising AI for everyone. The platform leads an open AI movement of several data scientists across different organisations globally.

Sri Ambati, CEO and Founder at H2O.ai. said, "H2O.ai is democratising AI and powering the imagination of every entrepreneur and business globally - we are making them the true AI superpowers."

He added, "The investment will help with growing our presence globally. Currently, our India presence includes a half a dozen people, with an AI Centre of Excellence in Chennai.  We will be growing the team to 40 people in the next 12 months. Today, we are excited to have two Kaggle Grandmasters in India. "

Sri Ambati, Co-founder and CEO, H2O.ai

H2O.ai will continue to innovate to support AI4Good with a focus on wildlife and water conservation, and investments in its highly successful academic programme that makes the H2O.ai portfolio freely available to students, researchers and universities.

Speaking about the India growth, Sri Ambati, said "We think that India would be a major power in AI - both because of the incredible talent but also the enormous data assets it is sitting on. AI4India would be a genuine movement and H2O.ai is looking to foster that and bring true grassroots transformation of businesses with data."

He added that a lot of how they built the company comes from his roots from India, and said, "Our purpose to do good with AI and give back comes together in our future work in India. Even though our open-source has been in use in India and all our products are free for academic use across the world and India, we think the journey is just starting in Chennai and rest of India. We are very excited at the vertical AI products that need to be built with the incredible entrepreneurial and data science talent native to India.

The startup has a global footprint with AI Centres of Excellence in Chennai and Prague. Some of the top customers of H2O.ai include - Aetna, Comcast, Booking.com, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Hitachi, Franklin Templeton, PwC, Wells Fargo, Walgreens, Nationwide Insurance, Capital One, MarketAxess, and PwC.

Jade Mandel, Vice President, Principal Strategic Investments Group at Goldman Sachs, said, “H2o.ai's deep technical bench and customer centricity make them well positioned to bring transparency and efficiency to the world of prediction.”

The startup has built a strong ecosystem of data scientists, partners, and customers. H2O.ai leverages its partnerships for global reach with leading technology companies including NVIDIA, IBM, AWS, Intel, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Snowflake, and IBM RedHat.

Basil Darwish, Managing Director, Strategic Investments at Wells Fargo, said, “We are keen on how the power of artificial intelligence enables insightful and personalised client experiences, and enhances our work with our clients,”

He added that H2O.ai’s focus on machine learning transparency and model interpretability facilitates adoption across the industry.

Donald Lacey, Managing Director and COO of the Ping An Global Voyager Fund, said, “It’s clear that H2O.ai has solutions that have global relevance and appeal. 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."

H2O.ai also announced its latest release of H2O Driverless AI, which empowers every company to be an AI company.

Jishnu Bhattacharjee, Managing Director at Nexus Venture Partners, said “We have been a big believer in H2O.ai since day one. We are ecstatic to see their success across the world with so many companies, in so many industries."

 He adds that AI in the enterprise is a reality that H2O.ai is driving. 

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)