Chinese tech giant Tencent invests in UK-based AI startup: One more European company hands over its tech to China?

Chinese tech giant Tencent invests in UK-based AI startup: One more European company hands over its tech to China?

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PROWLER.io, the leading British startup which has an artificial intelligence platform for decision-making, has raised $24 million (approx €21 million) from new and existing investors, valuing the company at $100 million (approx €89 million). PROWLER.io’s mission is to help turn dynamic, real-time data into optimal decisions about business problems.

“This investment is a huge sign of confidence in our efforts to be at the forefront of how enterprises use machines,” commented Vishal Chatrath, CEO of PROWLER.io.

The investors involved in the round included Amadeus Capital Partners, Atlantic Bridge, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Mandatum Life, Passion Capital, Pearson, RB Capital, SGInnovate, and Tencent. These strategic partnerships and funds will be used to support PROWLER.io’s recent product expansion and growth, with the company continuing to expand into a wide range of industry verticals, including finance, logistics and education.

Chatrath added, “Having initially focused on developing our AI platform, we are excited to be expanding our product offering into new verticals, underscoring the flexibility and innovative nature of our core technology. We’re excited to be supporting global corporate and financial leaders like Mandatum Life, Pearson, RB Capital and Tencent with AI tools that enable people to make better decisions.”

PROWLER.io was founded by mathematicians and engineers following years of research into machine intelligence, probability theory and multi-agent problems. Founded in 2016, it now has 110 employees from 29 countries.

The company’s core platform, VUKU, is being applied to managing logistics decisions, allocating resources, and assisting financial decisions in asset management. It is founded on a unique, integrated approach – combining branches of mathematics, engineering and economic theory.

What is VUKU?

VUKU is an AI platform for enterprise decision-making, which deploys novel AI technologies for autonomous, adaptive and data-efficient decision-making in complex, dynamic and uncertain environments. For example, this can be used in the case of financial portfolio management, logistics, ride sharing, port management and autonomous systems.

Applications beyond games and pattern recognition!

With VUKU, the company is advancing AI to applications beyond games and pattern recognition. This enables enterprises across industries to operate more efficiently and to grow their businesses by increasing margins.

VUKU – developed for enterprise use!

Hosted on industry-leading cloud infrastructure, VUKU APIs allow enterprises to input data from their environments into the two primary the platform — a learning system and a decision-making system.

The learning technologies that continually learn models of the policies that guide decisions. The decision-making system includes technologies that can implement optimal decisions across multiple policies or strategies.

Dr Ling Ge, Chief European Representative at Tencent, said:

The UK is a global leader in AI and is increasingly becoming a focus for companies looking to invest in the sector. PROWLER.io’s data-efficient approach and focus on human-machine teaming really set it apart. We are looking forward to PROWLER.io applying its AI decision platform to a broadening range of customers, potentially including some of Tencent’s affiliate companies.

Are European companies really being forced to hand over tech to China?

EU business group members are concerned about losing vital technology as China shifts the focus of its investment from the U.S. to Europe. Many of the European businesses say forced technology transfers to local firms have become worse in the past two years.

According to the survey comprised of 585 European businesses by the European Chamber of Commerce 20 per cent of respondents felt compelled to hand over technology to Chinese business partners, which is shockingly up from 10 per cent two years ago.

“Unfortunately, our members have reported that compelled technology transfers not only persist but that they happen at double the rate of two years ago,” European Chamber Vice President Charlotte Roule said at a news briefing on the survey.

Meanwhile, a couple of days back, the Trump administration banned Chinese tech giant Huawei from the US market, saying the company poses a national security risk.

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.

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