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Japan's SBI Holdings Bets Big On Singapore-based AI Startup AntWorks In addition to funding, a joint venture between SBI and AntWorks was also announced to tap the opportunities in the emerging AI space in South-East Asia.

By Nidhi Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Facebook: Antworks

Investors are ready to bet big on artificial intelligence startups because the technology brings a great future. AI has already been implemented in a number of repetitive tasks and mundane functions in a company which surely means that startups looking to try their hands on this technology surely hold a promising future.

Singapore-based AI startup AntWorks was, recently, in news for announcing Series A funding from SBI Investment Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SBI Holdings. The Japanese investment firm invested $15 million in AntWorks, a global company that is creating new possibilities with data. In addition to funding, a joint venture between SBI and AntWorks was also announced to tap the opportunities in the emerging AI space in South East Asia.

The company which was co-founded by Asheesh Mehra and Govind Sandhu in 2015, provides the only integrated intelligent automation enterprise-level product, powered by Fractal Science.

Commenting on the development, Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, President, and CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc. said "The joint venture will focus on countries in Asia, such as Japan, China, South Korea, and Indonesia. "AntWorks' has risen through the ranks of global RPA, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence companies with a ferocity that's unprecedented in the industry. We are excited about the possibilities of ANTstein and look forward to their growth in the Asian region through our joint venture, as well as globally."

AntWorks' primary product is ANTstein. It is an AI-based RPA software product designed to understand structured as well as semi-unstructured data types such as handwriting and forms, as well as broader cognitive capabilities that include pattern recognition, photos, and images. It consists of integrated technical and operational capabilities in a BOT which can be configured and trained. These bots can be created in a code-free environment and allow automation of complex processes. ANTstein integrates cognitive Machine Learning and autonomous automation into a single technology stack. The platform also has a Machine Learning and Natural Language Modeling capability which makes it one of the most comprehensive end to end automation platforms available. Specifically, the platform can handle unlimited types of non-standard format document that do not have a specific format, such as various financial statements, agreements, and invoices. To date, AntWorks has been providing its customers with its platform ANTsteinTM in a variety of industries from leading consulting service companies to financial services firms, such as major regional banks and insurers in India

Kitao added that SBI Group is actively involved in introducing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) solutions to financial institutions in Japan and strongly believes in the future of this field.

SBI A&B Fund of SBI Investment has been actively investing in promising startup companies inside and outside Japan in sectors such as AI and blockchain, including the FinTech sector, which is being carefully watched globally, as well as the IoT, robotics, and the sharing economy, which have close links to these technologies.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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