Montreal-based AI startup Deeplite Inc. today announced the closing of a $6-million seed financing round led by the Boston-based venture capital firm PJC with participation from leading AI technology venture firms and industry leaders Innospark Ventures, Differential Ventures, Ajay Shah Executive Chairman, Smart Global Holding, and included follow on investment from Somel Investments, BDC Capital and Desjardins Capital. This financing will accelerate Deeplite’s R&D development, expand the team and accelerate market expansion for its optimization software that delivers faster, smaller and more energy-efficient AI models.
“We are incredibly impressed with the team, technology and market adoption of Deeplite’s software stack for Edge AI” said Rob May, General Partner at PJC and writer of the world’s most popular newsletter on Artificial Intelligence – InsideAI. “Deploying AI, particularly deep learning, on resource-constrained devices, is a broad challenge in the industry with scarce AI talent and know-how available. Deeplite’s automated software solution will create significant economic benefit as Edge AI continues to grow as a major computing paradigm.”
The significant challenge when deploying deep learning models commercially is how large, processor-heavy and power-intensive they can be to operate. Deeplite solves this problem by providing an automated software engine to optimize DNN (Deep Neural Network) models and enable AI for edge computing on any device.
Incubated at TandemLaunch in Montreal, Deeplite launched in 2019 when co-founders Dr. Ehsan Saboori, Davis Sawyer and Nick Romano teamed up to bring AI to Everyday Life. Since the initial release of Deeplite’s NeutrinoTM software in mid-2020, there has been tremendous demand from major OEM brands, semiconductor and application companies for Neutrino’s automated optimization engine. AI engineers can use the software within existing MLOps frameworks like PyTorch, ONNX or TensorFlow to create highly compact, energy-efficient AI models that save on cloud costs and allow new applications to run on small, battery-powered edge devices.
“AI for Everyday Life is at the heart of what we are building. Deep learning is poised to bring massive benefits by way of automation, to unlock the potential to run AI on billions of microcontrollers (MCUs) in billions of devices at the point of data capture” said Deeplite CEO, Nick Romano. “We are excited to team up with PJC and this blue-chip syndicate as we enable AI to become untethered, decentralized and everywhere.”
Deeplite has been named to the CB Insights AI 100 list of Top 100 privately held AI companies in the world and is also collaborating with Turing-Award winner and deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio at Mila/UdeM, a renowned AI research institute based in Montreal.
“Accelerating time-to-market for accurate computer vision and perception AI models is fundamental to realizing the value of many diverse applications that will have a positive impact on our everyday life,” said Professor Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director of Mila. “Addressing the challenge of running complex and sizeable deep neural networks on limited compute power is crucial, and we’re excited to support Deeplite’s unique technology strategy and the innovation resulting from this partnership.”
This funding will be invested in research, development, sales and marketing to accelerate our product roadmap and go-to-market. Deeplite has key roles to fill and continues to hire in our Montreal and Toronto hubs and recruits globally as an accredited partner of Canada’s Global Talent Stream program. Major milestones ahead include a free community version coming out this spring and the release of Deeplite’s proprietary, ultra-efficient inference engine targeted for commodity CPUs and MCUs later this year.