Vickers Venture Partners, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, has led the $20-million Series A funding in Chooch AI, an autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) training platform for visual recognition, according to an announcement.
US-based Chooch AI said the funding round was also participated by 212, Streamlined Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, Waterman Ventures, and several others. The startup will use the fresh funds to build out its engineering and data scientist teams and create a global sales force.
Vickers Venture is a return investor in Chooch AI, having led the startup’s $2.8 million seed funding in April 2019.
The San Francisco-based startup provides technology for real-time facial recognition and object recognition to media, advertising, banking, medical and security industries.
Unlike single-purpose computer vision systems, Chooch AI said it can rapidly ingest and process visual data from any spectrum, generating AI models in hours that can detect objects, actions, processes, coordinates, states, and more.
One of its clients is SIPA USA, a photo agency from the US. SIPA uses Chooch to tag photos in real time on the Oscar red carpet, sporting events, and fashion runways. The technology goes beyond recognising faces in real time – it is also able to pick up fashion details that potentially add value to these images.
“AI startups and established players in artificial intelligence often focus on vertical applications. Chooch has a bigger vision, a horizontal AI platform that provides flexible solutions for the common demands of many companies, regardless of industry,” said Vickers Venture Partners founder and chairman Finian Tan.
In March, the Singapore-based venture capital firm raised $200 million for its $500 million sixth fund to invest in deep tech startups in Asia and globally.
The vehicle is one of Southeast Asia’s largest VC funds to date and is backed by Korea Venture Investment Corporation, pension funds from Switzerland, Germany and the US, and global family offices.
The venture firm has given itself 13 months to raise the remaining $300 million but acknowledged it is difficult to tell whether it can still do so within the timeframe as VC funds around the world are experiencing the chills of a fundraising winter made more severe by the COVID-19 pandemic.