​Neura raises $11m Series A funding round to grow AI ecosystem

After three years of developing the technology, Neura plans to use the capital it has raised to make its artificial intelligence ecosystem commercially available.

Neura has announced plans to make its personal artificial intelligence (AI) service and ecosystem commercially available after successfully raising $11 million in a Series A funding round.

The funding round was led by AXA Strategic Ventures and existing investor Pitango Venture Capital, and was joined by Liberty Israel Venture Fund and Lenovo Group.

Speaking to ZDNet, Neura CEO Gilad Meiri said just shy of launching the company three years ago, the company is now ready to make its AI ecosystem commercially available.

"What we're going to do is putting it on the shelf and inviting the world to use it, and that obviously requires a different level of infrastructure, scale, security, and customer support, so the money is mainly geared towards that," he said.

Neura has developed technology based on data collected from human behaviours, and plans to make the information accessible to help enhance apps and devices through personalisation.

"You have Fitbit that looks into steps, and Weather.com that looks at the weather, but no one is circling around a human to create a holistic sense of what's going on. We saw the opportunity and it grew up to larger than we expected, and we decided to pursue it as Neura," Meiri said.

He went on to explain the initial inspiration for such a platform was when the company's CTO Triinu Magi's husband was misdiagnosed with the wrong type of diabetes.

"So nothing worked and because [Magi] was a data scientist, she applied a data approach to try and make sense of it all. Eventually, when the doctor told her husband he had Type 1 [and not Type 2], it made sense," he said.

Meiri said the funding run is only the start of what could potentially be a decade long project, given that more machine learning and data science will be needed over time.

"What we're trying to do is apply statistical modelling on human behaviour, and humans are not only unpredictable they're -- many times -- unlikely. The trick with applying AI on behaviour is not identifying patterns, but have an understanding about endless anomalies," he said. "Obviously the more connected people, the better tools we have."

Meiri believes the potential use of its ecosystem could expand to verticals such as healthcare, cars, music services, and homes.

This funding round is the latest by the company after it raised $2 million back in April 2014 to help fund the development of the ecosystem. At the time, the funding was led by venture capital firm Greenhouse Capital Partners, alongside Pitango Venture Capital, Singtel Innov8 Ventures, TriplePoint Ventures, and angel investors including Ben Narasin and Isaac Applbaum.

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