The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing $9.1 million to Cortical.io AG, an Austrian software company with offices in San Francisco, developing innovative artificial intelligence technology based on a Natural Language Understanding (NLU) approach that can interpret and process human language text. The software is capable of performing search and analysis based on meanings of words or sentences. Its current applications include smart search and classification of information in contracts and emails. Cortical.io’s technology can search, extract, annotate and analyse key information from unstructured text – even with specialised vocabulary – across multiple languages and business sectors, and the company has already started developing standardised products to speed up deployment of the technology. The EIB financing will cover research and development (R+D) as well as operational investments supporting Cortical.io’s growth.
The EU bank loan is being provided under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan under which the EIB and the European Commission are working together closely as strategic partners in order to boost investment and to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of existing and new financial resources. The EIB loan, supported by EFSI, will have a significant impact as it provides Cortical.io with financial support and flexibility, enabling it to maintain its early-mover advantage in the field, scale up its business and continue its geographic expansion.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros said, “One of the immediate economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is the sudden lack of liquidity affecting mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To tackle the economic impact of the pandemic, the EIB is focusing its activities on meeting the financing needs of SMEs and providing immediate help. I therefore very much welcome our cooperation with Cortical.io, which is a young innovative company. High growth start-ups are recognised as key sources of employment, productivity growth and innovation, and for the EIB, with the backing of the Investment Plan for Europe, supporting investment that is geared towards greater competitiveness is a top priority, in particular in these difficult economic times due to COVID-19.”
Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said, “This agreement between the EIB and Austrian artificial intelligence software innovator Cortical.io AG is a clear sign of the European Union’s support for companies contributing to the digital transition, which is a significant driver for our economy. The new financing, backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, will enable Cortical.io AG to continue growing its operations and further advance its innovative business solutions in the field of language and artificial intelligence.”
Cortical.io COO Thomas Reinemer said, “While there is widespread excitement about the promise of AI as a technology, our focus is on applying our innovative technology to deliver packaged solutions that solve the problems enterprises are facing today. With proven solutions such as Contract Intelligence and Message Intelligence, this funding will enable us to grow the company and expand our R&D efforts to deliver Intelligent Document Processing solutions.”