Map services firm NextBillion.ai raises funds for “Facial AI and NLP” development
Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, M12, has placed $6.25 million in geospatial data startup NextBillion.ai, and its ambitions for enterprise AI, including biometrics.
M12 has described NextBillion.ai’s play as map data and location platforms as services.
The firm, founded in Singapore, last year scored a $7 million round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital. The two investments are NextBillion.ai’s series A, which now totals $13.25 million.
At the time of Lightspeed’s investment, Partner Hemant Mohapatra said the VC firm is excited for NextBillion.ai’s development of “turnkey enterprise solutions around Maps, Facial AI and NLP.”
NextBillion.ai, not to be confused with Michigan IT consulting firm Next Billion or Nextbillion Technology, the Indian unicorn investment platform doing business as Groww, was launched last year.
Its founders, Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng had been part of Grab, the southeast Asia ride-hailing company, are positioning themselves to sell AI at customizable enterprise scales.
While the biggest names in AI location services are looking for regional and global breadth with products and services that stretch across industries, NextBillion.ai is aiming at enterprise-level opportunities.
The startup sweet spot is a large but cost-conscious business in emerging markets that needs help building and managing their own geospatial data systems that might feature routing, matrix calculation and navigation.