Big Data

Peak.AI raises $21 million to drive enterprise AI adoption

Peak.AI, a startup developing AI solutions for enterprise customers, today announced that it closed a $21 million series B round. The funds, which bring Peak’s total raised to date to $43 million, will drive the company’s R&D and commercial expansion in the U.S. and India, according to CEO Richard Potter.

The global enterprise AI market size was valued at $4.68 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $53.06 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. But the corporate sector’s adoption curve hasn’t been as steep as some had predicted despite the promise of AI. A survey of publicly traded U.S. retailers’ earnings calls found that only 9 of about 50 companies had started to discuss an AI strategy, and a separate study from Genesys shows that 68% of workers aren’t yet using tools that leverage AI.

Peak aims to simplify the implementation of AI systems with a subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that spans infrastructure, data processing, workflow, and applications. Its customers — brands like Pepsi and Marshalls — supply their data, which Peak’s platform ingests through built-in connectors to accomplish things like optimizing supply and demand and supporting fulfillment processes, courtesy of a library of configurable AI engines.

Once AI engines go live, their predictive and prescriptive outputs can be exposed through APIs or explored, visualized, and exported with Peak’s Data Studio. The platform can handle datasets of virtually any size running on Amazon Web Services, and it serves models in an always-on fashion so that they self-improve over time. Peak also screens all ingested data through an algorithm to identify and anonymize any personally identifiable information.

Peak’s team optionally works with customers to define objectives, quantify opportunities using a sample of data, and scope out a business case for sign-off and launch. The company can take care of deployment and onboarding as well as operationalizing, and it can configure a solution to an individual user’s needs.

There’s no shortage of managed AI development platforms with venture backing. H2O recently raised $72.5 million to further develop its platform that runs on bare metal or atop existing clusters and supports a range of statistical models and algorithms. Cnvrg.io — which recently launched a free community tier — has raised $8 million to date for its end-to-end AI model tracking and monitoring suite.

But Peak, which claims that revenues doubled over the past 12 months thanks to customer wins in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, and Asia, asserts that its platform is more performant. The company says it has helped customers achieve a 5% increase in total company revenues, a doubling of return on advertising spend, a 12% reduction in inventory holdings, and a 5% reduction in supply chain costs.

“It’s becoming impossible to run a business without AI. Modern businesses are complex and operate in an ever-changing world,” Potter said in a statement. “Our software empowers day-to-day decision makers across businesses, and we’re proud to be working with household names such as PrettyLittleThing, KFC, and PepsiCo, and other industry leaders like Marshalls and Speedy Hire. We’re delighted to have secured this new funding in an oversubscribed round.”

Oxx led Peak’s latest fundraising round with participation from existing investors MMC Ventures and Praetura Ventures and new investor Arete. The company, which was founded in December 2014 by Potter, David Leitch, and Atul Sharma, has additional offices in Jaipur and Edinburgh and plans to hire 130 employees in the coming year.

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