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Mindbridge Receives $14.5 Million SIF Funding To Support $140 Million AI Project

MindBridge Analytics has received $14.5 million from the federal government to help support a “first-of-its kind” $140.8 million project the Ottawa-based company is currently developing.

The government funding comes alongside a new $15.1 million venture capital round that was led by PeakSpan Capital and saw participation from Real Ventures, National Bank of Canada, The Group Ventures, and Reciprocal Ventures, according to The Globe and Mail. The combined investments bring MindBridge’s recently raised capital to $29.6 million overall.

MindBridge, founded in 2015, is an AI-powered Fintech company that uses machine learning and AI to analyze large datasets and detect deviating patterns of activity as well as unintentional errors. Its AI Auditor product is used by more than 200 customers worldwide.

“Advances in AI mean more than just the development of new products or services. It has the potential to help us solve some of the most difficult challenges we face,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, who made the announcement of the government’s funding alongside David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, where MindBridge’s offices are located.

“MindBridge has already brought revolutionary AI products to market, and we are thrilled to invest in the next phase of their work, as they continue to innovate, grow and create well paying jobs,” Bains stated.

The $14.5 million is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), a federal government application program that provides financial support to projects “that will improve Canada’s innovation performance.” The capital is going towards MindBridge’s $140.8 million project, in which the company is developing what the government called “a first-of-its-kind” software tool powered by AI. The tool is meant to help MindBridge’s client companies analyze their own data more effectively, as well as make more informed decisions.

The new tool would be an addition to MindBridge first product, the AI Auditor, which the startup calls the worlds first AI-powered auditing platform. The Ottawa-based company offers its AI-powered software for a number of sectors including insurance, finance, and government.

SIF funding is provided based on specific projects companies are working on, the capital, which funds a portion of the project is expected to be reimbursed over a 15 year period. SIF provides anywhere between 10 to 50 percent of project costs and can only be put towards non-recurring project costs, such as direct labour, overhead, direct materials and equipment, land and buildings. The government noted that as part of its investment MindBridge, which currently sits at around 32 employees, will create 200 new jobs by 2030.

The $26.9 million marks MindBridge’s second raise in just over a year. In April 2018, it closed an $8.4 million Series A led by Real Ventures, with participation from continuing investors Reciprocal Ventures, National Bank of Canada, The Group Investment, as well as San Francisco-based 8VC. Real Ventures also participated in MindBridge’s $4.3 million raise the previous June.

In 2017, MindBridge stated plans to generate $100 million in revenue by 2021 as well as file for an IPO within five years. It also stated at the time that it wanted to have 1,000 organizations using its platform by 2019. BetaKit reached out to MindBridge for comment but had yet to hear back by time of publication. The recent government and VC funding bring Mindbridge’s overall financing to more than $44 million to date.

“The investment by the Canadian government, matched by private investors, better positions MindBridge Ai to leverage our flexible AI platform to drive the data economies of the future. This project will benefit all Canadians by further strengthening the Canadian AI ecosystem and our leadership position on the world stage,” said Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge.

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