Today in AI: closes $5.6M, Element AI partners with Automat

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This week, two Canadian AI startups have made announcements on partnerships, funding, and more. Here’s the latest on Canada’s AI movers and shakers. announces new funding and advisory board

Toronto-based, which is building a platform to optimize customer engagements using social media, alternative data, and first party data, has announced a $5.6 million CAD funding round.

The round was raised from key investors, including members of its newly-announced advisory board, employees, and VC firms Georgian Partners and Real Ventures. The company, which raised a $5 million seed round in February 2016, plans to complete a larger institutional Series A round in 2018.

“This group of distinguished individuals will help develop strong enterprise relationships and build a world-class AI SaaS platform that fundamentally reshapes the way businesses will assess, engage, and optimize the relationship with their consumers and drive business growth. We have assembled a team with proven track records for building successful companies on disruptive technologies and deep technical and policy experts,” said Steve Irvine, founder and CEO of “Advisory board members will play an active role in the business as we grow our customer base and bring our product to market.” said that this new advisory board spans across industries to strengthen’s ability to apply AI to drive customer engagement and revenue growth.

“ is developing a much-needed software that will transform the ways in which businesses employ AI to improve the customer experience, a space we believe has a tremendous potential based on existing and future market demand,” said Mike Shaver, partner at Real Ventures. “Participating in this early strategic round is an exciting opportunity to be part of the story, alongside their exceptional team.”’s new advisory team includes:

  • Praveen Arichandran, director of growth at Tesla
  • Jordan Banks, former managing director at Facebook and Instagram Canada and former global head of vertical strategy at Facebook
  • Scott Bonham, board director at Magna, Scotiabank and Loblaw
  • David Court, director emeritus at McKinsey & Company
  • Harley Finkelstein, COO at Shopify
  • Justin LaFayette, managing partner at Georgian Partners
  • Helen Nissenbaum, professor of information science at Cornell Tech
  • André Perey, Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Mike Shaver, General Partner at Real Ventures

Element AI partners with Automat

Element AI has announced a partnership with Montreal-based Automat, a conversational marketing platform that leverages AI to help companies talk to their customers.

Automat and Element AI will collaborate to deliver messaging experiences leveraging Automat’s Conversational Marketing Cloud platform, along with Element AI’s enterprise-grade platform. The goal is to ensure Element AI and Automat’s customers have access to the products, technology, and expertise required to develop messaging experiences of any nature or complexity. Automat hopes to leverage Element AI’s expertise in computer vision, predictive analytics, recommendation engines, reinforcement learning, and deep learning.

“As Conversational Marketing continues to build market momentum, companies are seeking increasingly sophisticated experiences to differentiate from competitors,” said Andy Mauro, CEO of Automat. “At Automat, we provide technology that gives brands the ability to have a conversation with consumers using artificial intelligence. With the help of Element AI, customers can now integrate additional capabilities that extend our proprietary language and optimization capabilities to enable messaging experiences that can see and learn as well as talk.”

Automat says that its platform allows marketers to deliver more personalized conversations to customers that tend to use apps like WeChat and Facebook Messenger for conversations. AI is enabling companies to have conversations with customers at scale, while also learning more about customers’ preferences and needs.

“Working with Automat will offer joint customers a wide array of AI capabilities engineered from our larger AI platform,” said Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné. “We look forward to addressing all our respective clients’ AI needs and facilitating the important new customer touch point of messaging applications.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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