The funding will be used to strengthen DataGrand’s tech capacity
Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) semantics analysis startup DataGrand has closed its Series B+ funding round with an RMB 270 million (US$38 million) raise, the company announced in a statement.
Venture capital firm Shenzhen Capital Group led the round, with participation from DataGrand’s previous investors SAIF Partners, Z Capital, and Mount Morning Capital. The capital will help expand the startup’s product technology and market presence, the statement added.
The 2015-founded startup uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Knowledge Graphs, and other AI technologies to provide intelligent text processing solutions, such as text mining, intelligent reviews, and knowledge mapping.
Chairman of Shenzhen Venture Capital Ni Zewang said, “We are delighted to have invested in DataGrand and are very much looking forward to working with Dr. Chen and his down-to-earth and highly talented team.” He added that the VC firm had an ‘optimistic’ outlook on the applications of AI, NLP and RPA (robotic process automation).
Founder and CEO of DataGrand Dr Chen Yunwen notes that Chinese grammar is more linguistically complex, making Chinese NLP methods and product implementation more challenging.
“With solid Chinese NLP technology, DataGrand has launched a number of automatic text processing products. At present, our systems can smoothly process documents both in Chinese and English. And this has gained a lot of praise in the industry,” he adds in the statement.
DataGrand developed and launched the DataGrand RPA in 2019, an ‘NLP + OCR + RPA’ intelligent robot, to provide companies with intelligent text automation solutions. DataGrand RPA is the only such solution in the market that does not rely on Microsoft’s development frameworks, the statement said.
Speaking on the independent development process of the solution, Chen said in the statement, “Although the R&D process is more expensive and difficult without borrowing existing foreign framework, it is well deserved when looking back. We have mastered all the core technologies from the bottom up.”
“The cross-platform adaptability of the software is stronger, and the technology is able to run on various operating systems,” he continued.
While the framework did not come from Microsoft, DataGrand does have a strategic partnership with the global tech giant, in addition to partnerships with Chinese search engine Sogou and China’s Ping An Group, the statement pointed out.
It also noted that DataGrand has over 100 enterprise clients, including China UnionPay, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, HSBC, Deloitte, China Mobile, Huawei, Haier, and Decathlon.
DataGrand’s previous funding round was in 2018, where the startup raised RMB 160 million (about US$22.5 million at current rates) in a Series B round led by Mount Morning Capital. It had earlier raked in a more modest raise from an RMB 50 million (about US$7 million at current rates) Series A in 2017 from SAIF Partners and F&G Venture.
Managing Partner at SAIF Partners Yan Yan said in the statement, “Whether from its powerful product, or the implementation capacity, DataGrand is in an absolutely leading position. We see great opportunities in the development of text automation.”
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