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NextBillion.ai secures $21 mn in Series B funding led by Mirae, existing investors
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NextBillion.ai, which operates an artificial intelligence (AI)-based enterprise platform focused on hyperlocal solutions, on Monday said it has raised $21 million (around Rs 163 crore) in its Series B funding round led by Mirae Asset Capital.

Singapore-based NextBillion.ai will use the fresh capital to boost operations globally and expand in North American and Europen markets, said NexBillion.ai in a statement. 

Existing investors, Lightspeed, Microsoft's Venture Fund, M12, and Alpha Wave Global also participated in this funding round, said NextBillion.ai in a statement.

“Given the current funding market environment, this round shows how strong the demand for our software is and how truly differentiated we are. We aim to power everything that moves – fro pizza to people. Everyone needs maps to move," noted Ajay Bulusu, co-founder of NextBillion.ai. 

Founded in 2020 by Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, NextBillion.ai helps enterprises to build, scale and manage their own spatial data ecosystems. The startup claims to have witnessed 4 times growth year-on-year growth and a 10-time jump in its customer base. It has more than 30 customers such as Gojek, Coca-Cola and Grassdoor across over 20 countries. 

The Series B funding for the company comes amid the funding squeeze already felt in the startup ecosystem in the wake of the current volatility in the equity markets, potential layoffs to cut costs and ongoing correction in the valuations. 

NextBillion.ai has raised $34 million since its inception so far. It raised $6.25 million (Rs 45 crore) in an extended Series A round of funding from M12 in May last year after raising $7 million in Series A co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Alpha Wave Global (formerly Falcon Edge) in 2020. 

Ashish Dave, CEO at Mirae Asset Venture Investments, noted in the statement that NextBillion.ai’s decentralized mapping platform provides enterprises with the blocks to build, scale and manage their mapping infrastructure, giving rise to customized solutions that solve multiple use cases. 

"NextBillion.ai is creating a new category of mapping software, and we look forward to supporting them in this journey," Dave added. 

Some other AI-based startups which have received venture capital funding in recent months include Staqu and Navikenz. Such investments are likely to increase as companies’ adoption to artificial intelligence rises across industries. 

Findings from a 2021 McKinsey survey indicate that AI adoption is continuing its steady rise with 56% respondents reporting AI adoption in at least one function, compared to 50% in 2020. 

The AI adoption rate is highest at Indian companies, followed closely by those in Asia–Pacific, the survey noted. 

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