Nexus backed H2O.ai raises $100 million in Series E funding at $1.7 billion valuation
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Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence startup H2O.ai Inc, which is backed by Indian venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners, has closed $100 million (Rs 740 crore) as part of its Series E funding round led by Australia’s largest bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The latest funding valued the company at $1.7 billion, said H2O.ai in a statement.

Others who participated in the funding round include new investor Pivot Investment Partners, and existing investors such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Crane Venture Partners, Wells Fargo, New York Life, and NVIDIA.

The company will use the fresh capital to boost its partnerships and for sales and marketing purposes globally.

Founded in 2011 by Sri Satish Ambati and Cliff Click, H2O.ai enables businesses, government entities, nonprofits, and academic institutions to make, operate and innovate with AI to accelerate responsible innovation and growth. The company provides its services to more than 20,000 global organizations, and millions of data scientists. Its list of clients includes AT&T, Citi, Capital One, GlaxoSmithKline, Hitachi, Kaiser Permanente, Procter & Gamble, PayPal, PwC, Reckitt, Unilever, and Walgreens. 

Notably, its lead investor Commonwealth Bank of Australia is also its customer. As an investor and customer, Commonwealth Bank said it will expand its use of H2O.ai software to boost the bank’s AI capabilities. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the bank serves more than 15 million customers.

"This strategic partnership between the leading global AI Cloud movement and Australia’s largest bank will unleash the juggernaut of co-innovation and will further democratize AI with trust and freedom," said cofounder Ambati.

Prior to this funding, H2O.ai had raised $72.5 million in a Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs and an overseas fund of Ping An Insurance (Group) Co in August 2019.https://www.vccircle.com/goldman-sachs-china-insurer-ping-an-s-fund-lead-funding-in-nexus-backed-h2o-ai

In December 2017, the company raised $40 million (about Rs 258 crore) in its Series C round led by Wells Fargo and Nvidia. Others that participated in the round at that point in time include Nexus Venture, New York Life, Crane Venture Partners and Transamerica Ventures. Others who participated in the round included existing investors Wells Fargo, American chipmaker Nvidia, and Nexus Venture Partners.

Nexus Venture Partners has invested in over 75 startups focusing on consumer retail, business services, healthcare, education as well as enterprise technology. A large part of Nexus’ portfolio comprises startups based in the US having some Indian presence. Its US bets include HyperTrack Inc., a startup that helps businesses track their executives and products in real time; Minio Inc., an open source-based cloud object storage startup; Druva Inc., an enterprise backup solutions provider; and Infoworks.io Inc, a data-warehousing company.

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