Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, March 4, 2021
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Peak AI Gets $21M Series B Funding Round, Expands Access to AI ‘Decision Intelligence’ 

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AI deployments are steadily migrating to retail applications as commercial brands seek to get a better handle on supply chains along with marketing and sales.

Increased demand for embedded AI software used to guide those decisions is on the rise, benefitting early movers offering automation tools designed to inform decisions on logistics and marketing. Among them is U.K.-based Peak AI, which this week announced a $21 million Series B venture round, bringing its total investor funding to $43 million.

The latest round was led by London-based B2B software backer Oxx. Existing investors MMC Ventures and Praetura Ventures also participated, along with new investor Arete´.

Peak is among a growing list of AI software vendors benefitting from the shift to e-commerce that is transforming the retail and manufacturing sectors. The six-year-old startup said enterprise revenues associated with its “decision intelligence” software have doubled over the last year as vendors look to upgrade supply chains and “demand management” tools.

In an effort to democratize enterprise AI, Peak is promoting “decision intelligence” software previously available to only hyperscalers like Amazon, Google and Netflix. Indeed, it argues AI-based decision intelligence represents a new system category ultimately outdistancing customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

“Every business will need its own AI,” Richard Potter, Peak’s founder and CEO, noted in a blog post. “Businesses will need a new kind of system. This is a new software category and will be as big, most likely bigger, than” CRM or ERP.

In response, Peak and its investors are banking on factors such as evolving consumer demand and supply chain vulnerabilities driving demand for AI-based decision-making tools. “Data infrastructure has reached a maturity that democratizes that use of artificial intelligence technology,” Potter said. “The economic opportunity for pure play disruptors to enter the market and supply this product is huge.”

The AI software vendor said Wednesday (Feb. 17) it would use it latest cash infusion to fund R&D on its flagship platform, CODI, its Connected Decision Intelligence system. The AI system is described as a “layer of intelligence” residing between other systems of record.

“Statistical models, although useful, are not appropriate here,” Potter asserts. “You need artificial intelligence systems, like CODI, capable of processing it at scale.”

The startup further claims its decision intelligence platform is helping users generate five percent revenue increases along with an equivalent reduction in supply chain costs. Current customers include KFC, PepsiCo and Marshalls.

Peak also said this week it plans to create 130 new positions as it expands operations in the U.S. and India.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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