To keep the week of funding announcements going, local artificial intelligence-focused startup Daisee has announced the raising of $8.8 million in a Series A round led by Alium Capital, with participation from investors including Thorney Opportunities.
Cofounded last year by Richard Kimber, former managing director for Google in Southeast Asia, the work of Daisee – Deep Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise Ecosystems – is based on Deakin University’s AI platform Maestro, with Daisee developing and deploying custom AI solutions for clients.
The funding will go towards furthering the company’s growth, with the startup to look to hire more software engineers and data scientists.
Daisee’s research, Kimber said, shows more than two thirds of Australian organisations have not yet adopted AI solutions. With this in mind, Kimber believes Daisee’s model of being able to design, deploy, and advise companies on AI solutions is unique in the market.
“Australia is at a tipping point on AI, and many companies are beginning to appreciate the competitive advantage to be gained from investing in real AI solutions,” he said.
“This investment demonstrates how well placed Daisee is to service that increasing demand in the market. With the very best academic research at our disposal, combined with the team’s commercial and technical acumen, we can help companies drive efficiencies to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.”
Michael Considine at Alium Capital said the firm is “delighted” to have partnered with the startup at the start of its journey.
“We are always on the lookout for companies who are at the forefront of technological innovation,” he said.
“While there is much talk of AI products and solutions, Daisee’s proposition of an experienced team leveraging world class research for commercial application sat head and shoulders above what other companies are seeking to achieve.”
There is indeed much talk of AI products and solutions: a survey from global IT firm Infosys released in January found almost nine in 10 business leaders at large Australian businesses have deployed AI tech within their organisations in one form or another.
According to the survey, 57 percent of leaders surveyed stated the main reason behind their investment in AI and adopting the tech was concern that AI would benefit their competitors more than their own business, while just 16 percent said gaining a competitive advantage was their main driver.
The report found 75 percent of organisations started off using AI to automate existing routine or inefficient process, however those who have been working with the technology for longer are using it to innovate and differentiate themselves, with 76 percent percent of decision makers stating they’re using AI to build new business-critical solutions and services to optimise insights and the consumer experience.
Fifty-one percent of Australian organisations surveyed are deploying AI in the context of machine learning, 48 percent are looking at automated reasoning, 47 percent at robotics, 44 percent at knowledge representation, and 39 percent Natural Language Processing.
A report from Daisee, meanwhile, found just 14 percent of Australian companies reported having adopted AI, compared to a global average of 23 percent. Ranking organisations in terms of levels of awareness and adoption in the categories Pioneers, Investigators, Experimenters, and Passives, the report found nine percent of Australian companies qualify as pioneers, 35 percent as investigators, 12 percent as experimenters, and 44 percent qualifying as passives.
However, the report estimated that the number of Australian companies expecting to invest over $1 million in AI between now and 22 has hit 13 percent.
Image: the Daisee team. Source: Supplied.