Protopia AI, a company that helps enterprises fully leverage their AI data, today announced its $6 million seed funding round led by ATX Venture Partners. Protopia AI solves a significant problem in the space: the inability of enterprises to access key data needed for their artificial intelligence models because of data protection policies. An AI Gartner report on CEOs found that the top barrier to AI implementation is data accessibility, making it difficult for enterprises to deploy AI initiatives.
Additional investors in the round included Galaxy Interactive, Silverton Partners, and DNX Ventures. Protopia has raised a total of $8 million, which includes an initial $2 million pre-seed round. All existing investors extended their commitment by participating in the new round.
Protopia AI has developed a software-only solution that enables its customers to use AI and machine learning to extract insights from their actual data without exposing sensitive information in identifiable form. Its Stained Glass Transform™ solution adds a new layer of protection against leakage of sensitive information for any data type – visual, text, or tabular – and can be applied throughout the ML lifecycle: training and inference. Protopia AI also provides a demo anyone can try out.
The core technology is based on inventions by Professor Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, endowed chair of computer architecture at the University of California San Diego, who is also Protopia AI’s co-founder and chief technology officer. Other providers in the space either focus solely on the training phase, which leaves the need for protecting sensitive information in deployment data unanswered or requires specialized hardware or new ML paradigms that makes them difficult to use.
“We are at an inflection point where AI has unprecedented capabilities – but at the cost of losing the control and ownership of data,” Esmaeilzadeh said. “Protopia AI is the vision to enable practical AI without losing the control/ownership of data.”
Funds raised from the round will be used to build out engineering teams and advance the product. The company is currently beta-testing its product across industries where data sensitivity causes the most operational slowdowns, including financial services, government, and health care.
“Protopia AI empowers enterprises to extract maximal value using AI and machine learning from their data by providing the governance and protection that is necessary,” said Eiman Ebrahimi, Protopia AI co-founder and CEO.