Canadian Manufacturing

CDPQ to invest $70 million in Sama, an AI training data platform

Sama will be using its new funding to build the first end-to-end AI platform that enables teams to manage the complete AI lifecycle.

November 5, 2021  by CM Staff

MONTRÉAL—Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group, announced an investment in Sama, an AI training data platform, to power their AI applications. The investment is part of a $70 million USD funding round led by CDPQ with participation from First Ascent Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Vistara Growth, in addition to all existing investors.

The AI data solutions landscape is highly fragmented, with many products built in silos, each solving one piece of the puzzle for developers. Sama will be using its new funding to build the first end-to-end AI platform that enables teams to manage the complete AI lifecycle, resulting in faster development, and eliminating data transfer between products.

“At Sama, we’re committed to shaping a future of AI that’s accurate, fair, and ethical,” said Wendy Gonzalez, CEO of Sama, in a press release.

“The market is really fragmented but with our latest funding round and the support of our investors and community, we’re committed to becoming the first one stop shop for AI development.”

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CDPQ is leading this Series B Round by investing through its Equity 253 fund which targets SMEs and technology companies that leverage diversity and inclusion as a vector of development and expansion. This investment is also aligned with its broader strategy to support and accelerate the growth of global disruptive AI technology companies, such as Sama, in all development stages

“Sama has successfully captured the rising demand for fast, accurate and cost-effective AI training solutions to power machine learning algorithms as a result of the growing adoption of AI. It succeeded in building a strong pipeline of blue-chip clients while advocating for an ethical AI supply chain that contributes to fighting poverty and increasing women’s representation in the sector,” said Wils Theagene, Senior Director, Québec at CDPQ and representative of the Equity 253 fund, in a press release.

“Sama is a high-tech company with a global footprint, including in Canada where it relies on a massive pool of machine learning talent. We look forward to supporting Sama in developing a research and product development hub in Montreal, which will help them commercialize new AI-based solutions to support their Fortune 2000 clients.”

Sama has approximately 40 employees in its Montreal office, which is set to become its research and product development hub. A significant portion of the company’s research and product development employees will be based in Montreal.