Unicorn alert! H2O.ai raises $100M reaching a $1.7B valuation
Cloud AI technology developer H20.ai has raised $100 million in a Series E round of funding, boosting the company’s total financing to more than $250 million and raising its valuation to $1.7 billion.
H2O.ai developed an open-source framework and proprietary apps that make it easier for customers to build and operate AI-based services. The startup has seen a surge of interest as AI applications are now everywhere and all companies, not just tech enterprises, want to be part of the action.
The California-based company plans to use the additional capital to “scale partnerships, sales, marketing and customer success globally.”
The funding round was led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s largest bank, along with Pivot Investment Partners and existing investors Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Crane Venture Partners.
“Commonwealth Bank and H2O.ai are led by our core belief that we can make the world better by serving our communities and customers with AI,” said H2O.ai founder and CEO Sri Ambati. “This strategic partnership between the leading global AI Cloud movement and Australia’s largest bank will unleash the juggernaut of co-innovation and will further democratize AI with trust and freedom.”
Commonwealth Bank is also an H2O.ai customer – through this strategic partnership, CBA will expand its use of H2O.ai software to boost the bank’s AI capabilities and co-create financial service AI applications powered by H2O AI Cloud.
“Commonwealth Bank processes and makes decisions based on millions of data points collected every day,” said Matt Comyn, the bank’s CEO. “AI already has helped us to improve our customer experience, however, we know there is untapped potential to do more. The investment in and strategic partnership with H2O.ai extends our leadership in artificial intelligence and ultimately boosts the bank’s ability to offer leading digital propositions and reimagine products and services to customers.”
Both of the last rounds have been led by big banks that are also customers of H2O.ai. In 2019, Goldman Sachs led the company’s Series D of $72.5 million. 40% of the company’s revenues currently come from the very wide and all-encompassing world of financial services.
Companies around the world are looking for AI solutions to increase revenue growth, optimize operations, mitigate risk and personalize customer experiences. Additionally, many are using AI technologies to drive research breakthroughs and uncover new opportunities for market disruption. Powered by world-class automated machine learning (autoML), the H2O AI Hybrid Cloud is pivotal in driving such innovation efforts all the way from initial idea to real world impact.
“H2O.ai is our new portfolio company, and we knew that it was exceptional from the very beginning,” says Kris Bort, founding partner of Sakal Ventures, a fund that focuses on private market investing, “Artificial intelligence is becoming more ubiquitous in society. This means more people, regardless of technical expertise or mathematical background, need access to it. And beyond simply having access, AI must be easy, fast and cost effective to use. I couldn’t be more proud of what we have accomplished in just the first year here at Sakal Ventures. We’ve already had our first IPO, and we’ve built a great portfolio of companies. I am sure H2O.ai will have a successful IPO soon.”
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