Element AI is Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) startup that was founded in 2016 by Jean-Francois Gagne and Yoshua Bengio. In just the short time the company’s been in existence it’s made impressive progress. It has the largest privately-owned Canadian AI R & D lab and already has more than 100 employees under its belt. And now it’s about to open an outpost in London to further expand its operations.
Element AI focuses on various areas including logistics, cybersecurity, robotics, finance, and manufacturing. According to the company’s website, it considers itself to be an “AI solutions provider that gives organizations unparalleled access to cutting edge technology.” It will assess the AI needs of a company and come up with innovative AI-based solutions via the SaaS platform.
“There are so many exciting people in the world if academia and artificial intelligence wanting to do interesting stuff. How can we make sure our tools are not just meeting the needs of big companies? There are others who could also use them,” said the incoming leader of the London Element AI office, Dr. Julien Cornebise.
Cornebise was one of the very first employees at Google’s DeepMind and has a lot of experience when it comes to AI so is the ideal candidate to run the London office. “Element AI’s establishment of a London office is a testament to the strengths of the UK research and innovation ecosystem in AI, and the potential for industrial collaborations, with our businesses,” stated Matt Sansam, Innovation Lead for Digital at Innovate UK.
Element AI’s plan is to employ around 20 engineers and developers to be based in the London outpost. However, it’s not stopping there. Its second wave of employees may start in London or Montreal before returning to other areas of the globe in an attempt to widen the company’s global network. “Why would it be someone in London who is trying to solve a problem in Burundi, for example?” says Cornebise. “There are tons of minds who we just don’t see from here because they are not part of the academic fabric.”
Since the startup began back in 2016, already it has raised more than $102 million in funding. The Series A funding round was led Data Collective, with others such as Nvidia, Intel, and Microsoft also getting involved. As of yet, no new funding has been acquired, but with a new London outpost to pay for that may well change.