NextBillion.ai, an Artificial Intelligence-powered hyperlocal solutions startup in Singapore, has extended its Series A financing round by adding US$6.25 million more to its war chest from Microsoft’s venture fund arm M12.
The fresh funds will be used by the company for hiring, building vertical-specific AI-first capabilities, and expanding into new domains like neuro-linguistic programming and facial recognition.
NextBillion.ai was co-founded last year by Gaurav Bubna, Ajay Bulusu, and Shaolin Zheng — all former tech-leadership members of Grab who developed Grab Maps.
The AI startup is focused on building hyperlocal solutions, particularly in emerging markets where language and geospatial infrastructure challenges are significantly complex and unique.
Among its product is nextbillionmaps, which provides customisable features, such as routing and navigation, matrix calculation, and map data curation.
The second product currently under-the-making is nextbilliontasks, where AI is used for decoding of data to simplify multilingual texts, image classification, sentiment analysis and video annotations.
The idea hit the trio when they realised that there was no one map-fits-all solution and the future of location is decentralisation, Bulusu told Singapore Business Review in a recent interview.
They noticed that especially in a region like Southeast Asia where infrastructure and language barriers exist, challenges like losing a parcel or not being able to deliver things on time are common.
This motivated them to create nextbillionmaps, a service that provides customisable features such as routing and navigation, matrix calculation and map data curation, especially targeted at emerging markets.
The company said that it has scaled to support 15 customers across 20 countries and helped enterprises map over 2.5 million miles of roads and handled over 20 billion API calls.
As of today, the startup has 60-plus employees working from its offices in San Francisco, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Beijing.
NextBillion.ai is currently making deep-tech investments across AI, Machine Learning and computer vision as they expect to drive a lot of new technology innovation in the mapping industry.
Image Credit: NextBillion.ai
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