Today in AI: mnubo opens Tokyo office, DeepLearni.ng rebrands to Dessa

This week, two Canadian startups have made announcements and launched new features to make strides in AI. Here’s the latest on Canada’s movers and shakers.

mnubo opens Toyko office

Montreal-based IoT data analytics company mnubo has opened an office in Tokyo, Japan.

The company said it plans to continue expanding its team in the Tokyo office by adding solution engineers, data scientists, and business managers with expertise in IoT data and AI.

This is not the first time mnubo has shown its commitment to invest in the Japanese market. In April 2017, mnubo was selected to provide its SmartObjects data analytics solution to Japan-based service providers iTSCOM and Connected Design.

“Japan has been at the heart of global technological transformation for many decades. mnubo is proud to invest our leading-edge AI and IoT solutions and expertise in this market,” said Frederic Bastien, CEO of mnubo. ”mnubo has a strong customer base in this market and brings AI-driven IoT innovation to traditional Japanese manufacturers, accelerating their evolution to the new digital industry.”

mnubo has previously partnered with companies like Hortau, Buzz Connect, and Grain Systems to bring IoT services to different industries like agriculture and farming. In January of this year, mnubo raised $16.5 million to continue its international expansion. The company also raised a $6 million Series A round in May 2015.

DeepLearni.ng rebrands to Dessa, appoints Alex Krizhevsky as technical advisor

Toronto-based DeepLearni.ng, which works with enterprises to build and deploy AI systems, announced that it has rebranded itself to Dessa.

The company also announced that it has appointed former Google Brain researcher Alex Krizhevsky as a technical advisor.

“After meeting Dessa’s team, I was impressed by their technical knowledge, and also the way they’re working together to solve real-world problems with machine learning,” said Krizhevsky. “The company’s culture is uniquely passionate and I’m excited to help them in their mission to uncover new tools for building applied AI systems. It’s a privilege to be working with them as they work towards their next phase of growth.”

Krizhevsky has worked alongside AI experts Geoffrey Hinton and Ilya Sutskever. After completing a PhD at the University of Toronto under Hinton in 2012, Kirzhevsky launched AlexNet, a deep learning network that used high-performance GPUs to product image recognition results. As Dessa’s technical advisor, Krizhevsky will provide mentorship to help Dessa’s team enhance their AI knowledge and support the team’s development of AI systems.

“We’re in a new era of artificial intelligence,” said Stephen Piron, Dessa’s co-founder and co-CEO. “Deep learning is a powerful tool that AI practitioners have been using since Hinton, Krizhevsky, and Sutskever first demonstrated its potential to produce unprecedented results. While it’s still important to the field, a more diverse range of tools are emerging that will take AI to the next level. We’re proud and honoured to have someone like Alex on board at Dessa to help our team produce next-generation AI tools for our clients and partners.”

In addition to rebranding itself and announcing Krizhevsky’s role, Dessa said it plans to double its staff to 80 employees by the end of 2018, as well as bring its next-generation AI platform to market later this year.

Dessa raised a $9 million Series A in September 2017 and joined the Vector Institute in February of this year. The company also partnered with Scotiabank to develop a credit card system that analyzes custom behaviour.

Photo via mnubo

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.