Artificial intelligence startup Sentient Technologies has raised a $103.5 million funding round, and one of its new investors, Tata Communications, will also provide data centers and network connectivity services for the startup’s massive-scale distributed AI system it plans to deploy globally.
Sentient’s technology combines sophisticated machine learning technology with large scale. It runs AI jobs distributed across millions of processing nodes.
A company like Tata has the capabilities to provide a geographically distributed data center topology that spans the globe and an extensive global IP network. The Mumbai-based service provider claims that nearly one-quarter of the world’s Internet routes go over its network, including a wholly owned submarine cable network.
Tata owns and operates submarine cables that connect U.K. to Portugal, Spain, and New Jersey; Japan and Guam to Oregon and California; Singapore to India; China to Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore; and several Arabian Peninsula countries to a cable system in the Arabian Sea.
It also has more than 1 million square feet of data center space in 44 markets around the world.
Tata CEO Vinod Kumar said, “The scale of our leading global network infrastructure and data center footprint also complements Sentient’s growth plans and will enable its global deployment.”
US Conglomerate Gets Behind AI Startup
Tata led the funding round together with Access Industries, a U.S. conglomerate with holdings in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, and real estate.
Jörg Mohaupt, a director at Access Industries, said the company would use Sentient’s technology in several of its businesses. “We are delighted to be investors in Sentient and will apply its technology to our portfolio of e-commerce, media and entertainment businesses so that they can do innovative things and create new products for their customers,” he said in a statement.
Capabilities Demoed Behind Closed Doors
Sentient says it has been demonstrating its capabilities in financial trading and medical research under the radar, choosing those two fields because of the high volume and wide variety of data generated there.
The AI startup's latest round (Series C) is the largest the company has closed so far. Bringing the total money raised to about $143 million.
Existing investor Horizon Ventures and a group of private individuals also participated.