Investors Back Startup Company Deeplite With $6 Million Seed

By James White Saturday, April 17, 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology powers numerous devices with varying functions and applications. From facial and voice recognition on smartphones to self-driving cars, AI technology has been inducted into many business operations and products. Though AI opens the door to many exciting features and programs, powering deep neural networks and machine learning, it takes a significant amount of processing power. Startup company Deeplite recently closed a $6 million seed round for its business, which aims to optimize neural networks and enable more devices to implement AI programs.

“AI for Everyday Life is at the heart of what we are building,” said Nick Romano, CEO and co-founder of the startup business. “Deep learning is poised to bring massive benefits by way of automation, to unlock the potential to run AI on billions of microcontrollers (MCUs) in billions of devices at the point of data capture. We are excited to team up with PJC and this blue-chip syndicate as we enable AI to become untethered, decentralized and everywhere.”

Funding for Deeplite was led by venture capital firm PJC, with additional support for the startup company coming from investors Innospark Ventures, Differential Ventures, and Ajay Shah, Executive Chairman of Smart Global Holding. Returning investors in the AI startup business included Somel Investments, BDC Capital, and Desjardins Capital. Deeplite will use the new capital to expand its team and accelerate research and development of its AI optimization software.

Abreviation for artificial Intelligence on a digital globe background.

Optimizing Deep Neural Networks

The Montreal-based startup company was founded in 2018 by Romano alongside entrepreneurs Davis Sawyer and Ehsan Saboori. Deeplite aims to “make AI accessible and affordable to benefit everyone's daily life.”

The Deeplite software engine, dubbed Neutrino, uses a multi-objective design space exploration approach to automatically optimize high-performance deep neural networks. Networks optimized by the software from the startup company are faster, more compact, and more efficient in power consumption. Neutrino is easily implemented into AI workflows with an accessible application programming interface (API).

Deep neural networks optimized by Deeplite’s software hold value in a number of industries. The self-driving car business can employ more efficient AI software in its vehicles, while smartphone manufactures can conserve battery life on their devices. Deeplite software can also improve deep learning performance on small, smart devices like cameras and even drones.

“We are incredibly impressed with the team, technology and market adoption of Deeplite’s software stack for Edge AI,” said Rob May, general partner at PJC. “Deploying AI, particularly deep learning, on resource-constrained devices, is a broad challenge in the industry with scarce AI talent and know-how available. Deeplite’s automated software solution will create significant economic benefit as Edge AI continues to grow as a major computing paradigm.”

Breaking Into the Edge AI Market

Market research expects the global edge AI software market, valued at $590 million in 2020, to reach over $1.8 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 20.8%. The startup company is tapping into a business that benefits companies in numerous sectors by creating AI models that are both cost-effective and power-efficient. Deeplite will likely find competition from others, including startup company DarwinAI, as more competitors in the business attempt to capture their share of the market.

About the Author


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James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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