[Funding news] Vishal Sikka founded AI platform Vianai Systems raises $140M

Founded in 2019 with initial seed money of $50 million to address the unfulfilled promise of enterprise AI, Vianai Systems’ customers include many of the largest and most respected businesses in the world.

Vianai Systems, a Silicon Valley-based AI platform and products startup founded and headed by Indian-American IT expert Vishal Sikka, on Wednesday announced to have raised $140 million to accelerate the delivery of its human-centred AI platform and products to enterprises worldwide.

Founded in 2019 with initial seed money of $50 million to address the unfulfilled promise of enterprise AI, Vianai Systems’ customers, including many of the largest and most respected businesses in the world, to which it delivers Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and data science platforms and products.

The massive amount of money raised by Vianai Systems, in a Series B financing from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and several industry luminaries, will help the startup to accelerate the delivery of its human-centred AI platform and products to enterprises worldwide, a media release said.

“We have been working hard to build a better AI platform, one that puts human judgement at the centre of systems that bring vast AI capabilities to amplify human potential, said Dr Vishal Sikka, Founder and CEO of Vianai.

“I am grateful for the trust and the confidence that our customers and our investors have put in us as we help enterprises achieve great, purposeful transformations with human-centred AI,” Sikka, one of the world’s leading experts in Artificial Intelligence, said.

Funding news

In a statement, Vianai said its pioneering human-centred AI approach amplifies human judgment, thus empowering domain experts with AI tools to deliver powerful business value. Vianai has already delivered successful business outcomes to numerous world-leading enterprises, it said.

Vianai’s human-centred approach to AI has been critical to the design of an advanced early warning system for our underwriters. The system, which extracts actionable insights from non-traditional data sources, has the potential to drive significant business value for us, and our customers, said Dr Torsten Jeworrek, Member of the Group Executive Board and Global Head of Reinsurance at Munich Re.

With Vianai as an innovation partner, Munich Re is on a path towards the breakthrough digital transformation of our core business, and that of the industry as a whole, he said.

Dr Fei-Fei Li, Co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, who joined Vinai as an advisor, said he believes that AI is made by humans, intended to behave by humans, and, ultimately, to impact human lives and human society. Its success depends on how humans and AI work together, he said.

“With the AI revolution underway, we believe Vianai’s human-centred AI platform and products provide global enterprises with operational and customer intelligence to make better business decisions,” said Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

We are pleased to partner with Dr Sikka and the Vianai team to support their ambition to fulfil AI’s promise to drive fundamental digital transformations, Nishar said.

Vianai’s 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! Inc). Joining Vianai’s previously announced advisory board is Dr Fei-Fei Li (Co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI).