Boab AI reveals first Aussie cohort, launches $100m fund


Tuesday, 16 February, 2021

Boab AI reveals first Aussie cohort, launches $100m fund

Artificial intelligence scale-up program Boab AI has announced the launch of the first cohort of its Australian AI scale-ups, as well as its $100 million Boab Global AI Fund. The first cohort of scale-ups comprises PI.EXCHANGE, Remi AI, Strongroom AI, Plaetos and Daitum. While a total of $1.5 million is invested in the first cohort, each company is eligible for up to $5 million in follow-through funding in future investment rounds.

Boab AI Managing Director Andrew Lai said Boab AI provides funding, advice and services bespoke to each company, and forecast that, with Boab AI’s support, each company in the first cohort will scale quickly and expand internationally.

Building on the traction of the scale-up program, Boab AI has also launched the Boab Global AI Fund, with a capital raise of $100 million. The Boab Global AI Fund will invest in another 150 artificial intelligence companies.

“Historically we’ve had to go overseas to find investors, but we’re very happy to be now receiving such support here in Victoria. We’d love to see the entrepreneurial ecosystem grow further in Australia, and Victoria particularly, with the hope to help rally both industry and entrepreneurs to support local AI companies and scale AI employment opportunities,” said Quan Pham, CEO of PI.EXCHANGE.

Artesian, the venture capital backer of Boab AI, said the Boab Global AI Fund will complement the Boab AI scale-up program. Artesian Managing Partner Matthew Clunies-Ross said the Boab Global AI Fund, while currently focused on supporting companies based in Victoria, will also invest in international and domestic companies.

“In this way, we are not only investing in local talent, but also drawing on world-class founders globally to build a complete ecosystem,” said Clunies-Ross.

The Boab AI program is supported by Victorian Government investment agency LaunchVic, as part of a push to establish Melbourne as a start-up hub and a centre of excellence for artificial intelligence.

“Australia is forecast to need 161,000 more artificial intelligence experts by 2030 and, with initiatives like Boab AI and the Boab Global AI Fund attracting the world’s best talent, there’s no better place for these jobs than Victoria,” said Victoria’s Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford.

Applications for the second intake of scale-up AI companies will open in March 2021.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/peshkova

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