Cambridge Innovation Capital and Atlantic Bridge Capital back PROWLER.io’s quest to deliver the next generation of artificial intelligence
Cambridge, UK – 5th September 2017 – Artificial intelligence (AI) start-up PROWLER.io today announced that it has raised £10 million in Series A funding to deploy the first principled AI decision making platform. The funding will be used to expand its world-leading team of researchers and continue development and commercialisation of its platform.
The round was led by Cambridge Innovation Capital, a Cambridge-based investor in technology and healthcare companies. Atlantic Bridge Capital, a global technology fund which invests in high growth technology companies in Europe, the US, the Middle East and China, also invested. Existing investors Passion Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and SGInnovate reiterated their continued support for the company by participating in the round.
PROWLER.io’s principled decision making platform makes it possible to perceive and affect the ways agents – such as vehicles, drones, robots, characters in games and even people – interact in complex environments. Its probabilistic models enable customers to understand, guide and optimise the millions of micro-decisions that can occur in dynamic systems. The platform also provides safe, effective ways to test and validate emerging technologies.
PROWLER.io has the potential to transform complex systems design and implementation.
The platform is “principled” in the sense that its core technology is founded on mathematical principles from three previously segregated fields: probabilistic modeling, machine learning and game theory. The resulting synergy of ideas and methodologies makes possible for the first time a platform whose decisions are clearly based on interpretable principles. It accomplishes this by using:
- powerful statistical tools to generate flexible, dynamic probabilistic models which provide new insights about virtual or physical environments;
- machine learning and decision-making methodologies that are more visible and interpretable than those that take place within deep neural nets;
- multi-agent systems that are much more flexible, adaptable and strategically interactive than traditional decision-tree based systems.
Initial applications of the platform:
In game development PROWLER.io agents supersede the use of hand-crafted rules for decision making, which are time consuming, expensive and restrictive. The result is games that feel truly open and responsive and engage players in novel, freer, more personalised ways. Moreover, development costs and time to market decrease when testing is handled by teams of humans working with agents that can perform dull, repetitive tasks thousands of times faster than manual testers.
It is impossible to program autonomous vehicles for every eventuality they will face on the roads. The platform uses probabilistic modelling to enable a self-driving car to “understand” itself and its environment, multiple principled learning approaches to teach it to drive and multi-agent systems to ensure that it operates safely alongside other road users.
In smart cities, the platform optimises fleet planning and management. This ensures that real time demand for AVs matches supply, vehicles are close by when needed, routes are planned efficiently, congestion is reduced and negative environmental impacts are minimised.
PROWLER.io is a Cambridge-based start-up with a world-class team of leading experts in machine learning, probabilistic modelling, Gaussian processes, reinforcement learning, decision theory, multi agent systems and game theory. The company is building an AI decision making platform on a foundation of interpretable principles of mathematics and learning.
“This investment will allow us to expand our already world-leading team of academics with even greater research muscle and will enable us to take further steps to bring our technology to market. As a team, we are ready and eager to take the business to the next stage and continue solving some of the hardest machine learning problems to deliver the world’s first principled AI decision making platform.” – Vishal Chatrath.
CEO and co-founder Vishal Chatrath was previously head of automotive at Nokia, founder of Chleon Automotive and Chief Business Officer of VocalIQ, which was acquired by Apple in 2015. He focuses on turning ground-breaking research into workable solutions.
“Many of the big names in our space are narrowly focused on finding uses for their big data – which means they’re feeding huge amounts of data to deep learning neural networks. We are the first company to employ a full range of mathematical and learning principles to design and implement accessible, interpretable dynamic systems that can make good use of smaller datasets.” – Dr. Dongho Kim.
CTO and co-founder Dr. Dongho Kim is an expert in reinforcement learning, POMDP and statistical dialog systems. Dr. Kim was the core of the machine learning team at VocalIQ, where he first teamed up with Chatrath. He is a former postdoctoral research associate in Cambridge University’s Engineering Department and obtained his PhD in AI at KAIST in 2011.
“I’m hugely excited to be part of the PROWLER.io team. Artificial Intelligence technology is coming of age and changing the world right now. Good AI solutions are crucially dependent on combining deep theoretical insights with ground-breaking engineering. PROWLER.io is a rapidly growing team unifying academic excellence with key technical abilities and is centrally placed for deploying future AI solutions.” – Prof. Carl Rasmussen
Chairman Dr. Carl Edward Rasmussen is Professor of Machine Learning at the Department of Engineering of Cambridge University. He has previously held positions at Technical University of Denmark, the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL, and the Max Planck Institute of Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen.
Andrew Williamson, Investment Director at Cambridge Innovation Capital, said,
“PROWLER.io has assembled a world-class team of researchers to tackle some of the most intractable problems of our age. The fact that the company is able to capitalise on the expertise in probabilistic modelling, principled machine learning and game theory available in Cambridge is hugely exciting. The combination of PROWLER.io’s team and technology applied to the important problems they are solving provides a significant commercial opportunity for the company.”
Cambridge Innovation Capital, the lead investor for this funding round, combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to invest in rapidly growing intellectual property rich companies in the Cambridge Cluster. The company is committed to building leading healthcare and technology businesses from brilliant IP – with the support of some of the most influential figures in the sector and a patient capital structure. For more information visit www.cicplc.co.uk or follow @CambsInnovation
Kevin Dillon, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge Capital, said:
“PROWLER.io is at the very forefront of innovation across probabilistic modelling, machine learning and game theory, leveraging the wealth of talent available in Cambridge and the wider UK community, to solve intractable problems with significant commercial applications. I’m hugely excited to be joining the company’s Board and supporting its world-class team in building a successful business”
Atlantic Bridge Capital is a European Growth Technology Fund which invests in high growth technology companies and accelerates the scale up of these companies by applying its proprietary Bridge Model into US, Middle East and China Markets. The Firm has investment teams, offices and extensive networks in London, Palo Alto, Dublin, Muscat and Beijing. Atlantic Bridge is focused on investments in high growth and disruptive sectors such as Computer Visioning, Robotics, Machine Learning, Enterprise Software and IoT.
Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital, said:
“Since leading PROWLER.io’s seed round, we’ve witnessed the team grow with the best AI talent in the world and it’s hugely validating to see a Series A financing round come together so quickly in support. We continue to be extremely excited about the value of the company for so many different sectors. We’re delighted to welcome Cambridge Innovation Capital and Atlantic Bridge Capital, and look forward to all of us supporting PROWLER.io as they continue to advance and also start to commercialise their AI platform.”
Hermann Hauser, co-Founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, said:
‘As an early backer of PROWLER.io, Amadeus is pleased that this exciting company exploring the many possibilities offered by AI is attracting further investment.’
Pang Heng Soon, Head of Investments at Singapore-based SGInnovate (formerly Infocomm Investments), said:
“PROWLER.io is positioned at the forefront of a fast-moving technological shift that will profoundly impact industries, societies and economies. As the company continues to grow strongly, we’re excited to be investing in the company again to support the team’s mission of advancing artificial intelligence and machine learning to efficiently solve the hardest challenges of our times.”
Contacts: For more information, please visit www.prowler.io and @Prowler_io. PR contacts Dom Conolly // John Machin firstname.lastname@example.org Hotwire PR+44(0)207 608 2500