Clinc, the AI startup, has raised $52 million in venture funding in a Series B round of venture funding.
VentureBeat, citing the company, reported the $52 million was more than eight times its Series A raise in February of 2017, when it raised $6.3 million in funding. The Series B round was led by Insight Partners and included participation from DFJ Growth and existing investors Drive Capital and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Clinc told VentureBeat that the $52 million was among the largest single investments made in a company focused on conversational AI.
Proceeds from the round of funding will go to hire more employees and open a new office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the company is based. Currently, Clinc is focusing on its automotive platform, which it announced last fall. It enables drivers and passengers to use natural language to control their vehicle systems in Ford‘s connected car lab. Drivers can request via voice to adjust the air conditioner, check how much gas they have or find out if there is enough gas for a specific trip, for example. Clinc uses a combination of natural language processing engines, AI machine learning and deep neural networks to recognize and interpret human speech. The technology can learn and improve on its own over time, as well as recognize new follow-up questions.
According to the report, investors appeared drawn to the significant growth at Clinc. In 2018, revenue increased 300 percent, and the company is predicting business will more than triple in 2019. Clinc boasts more than 30 million users, with its customers including USAA, Ford, Isbank and Barclays, among others.
“We’ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time,” CEO Jason Mars told VentureBeat. “Now we’re adding more world-class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time.”