Sheffield, UK 23rd July 2021 Mindtech Global, developer of the world’s leading end-to-end synthetic data creation platform for training AI vision systems – today announced closing a $3.25 million funding round.
The round was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)*, with Deeptech Labs and In-Q-Tel participating. The investment will enable the company to accelerate product development at its new engineering base in Sheffield UK and support its growing customer engagements across Europe, the US and Asia.
Mindtech’s Chameleon platform delivers transformational technology to unlock the massive machine-learning / AI opportunity, specifically helping computers understand and predict human interactions. Current approaches to training AI vision systems require the sourcing and annotation of privacy compliant and unbiased real-world images in volume – a costly and time-consuming exercise.
Chameleon enables innovation and wider deployment of AI vision systems by democratizing training data. Using the platform, customers can quickly build unlimited scenes and scenarios using photo-realistic smart 3D models. These are simulated and “filmed” creating fully annotated synthetic images that can be used to train AI vision systems and address diversity and bias issues. The datasets are privacy compliant and full data provenance is provided.
Mindtech has global customers addressing AI applications ranging across retail, the smart home, healthcare, transportation systems and robotics. Chameleon empowers customers to go-to-market with AI vision systems exponentially faster and more accurately than relying on real-world data alone.
Will Clark of Mercia said, “In partnership with the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Mercia is excited to invest and support the transformational vision of the Mindtech team, through the growth of their Sheffield headquarters, enabling further platform development, identified during their significant customer engagements.”
Miles Kirby, CEO, Deeptech Labs said, “As a catalyst for deeptech success, our investment and accelerator program supports ambitious teams with novel solutions and the appetite to build world-changing companies. Mindtech’s highly-experienced team are on a mission to disrupt the way AI systems are trained, and we’re delighted to support their journey.”
Nat Puffer, Managing Director (London), In-Q-Tel said, “Mindtech impressed us with the maturity of their Chameleon platform and their commercial traction with global customers. We’re excited by the many applications this platform has across diverse markets and its ability to remove a significant roadblock in the development of smarter, more intuitive AI systems.”
Steve Harris, CEO, Mindtech said, “Machine learning teams can spend up to 80% of their time sourcing, cleaning and organizing training data. Our Chameleon platform solves the AI training challenge, freeing the industry to focus on higher value tasks like AI network innovation. This round will enable us to accelerate our growth, enabling a new generation of AI solutions that better understand the way humans interact with each other and the world around them.”
*The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Mindtech Global is the developer of the world’s leading end-to-end ‘synthetic’ data creation platform for the training of AI vision systems. The company’s Chameleon platform is a step change in the way AI vision systems are trained, helping computers understand and predict human interactions in applications ranging across retail, smart home, healthcare and smart city.
About Mercia Asset Management PLC
Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Capital Solution’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.
Mercia has a strong UK regional footprint through its eight offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£872million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested over c.£106million across its direct investment portfolio.
The Group raises its own Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and manages Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website.
Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –
- Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856
- Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363
- EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560
About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
- The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
- The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Hull and East Yorkshire, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, and York & North Yorkshire
- The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
- The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
- The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About Deeptech Labs
Deeptech Labs is a VC fund, accelerator, and the catalyst for deeptech success. Twice a year, its cohort of startups are embedded in a powerful network of successful entrepreneurs, expert practitioners, leading researchers, and deeptech organisations worldwide. Deeptech Labs is founded by Arm, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Martlet Capital, and the University of Cambridge, forefront institutions at the heart of the Cambridge and global technology ecosystems.
The company is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
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IQT is the independent, non-profit organization that the national security community has relied upon for more than 20 years to anticipate their technology questions and needs and achieve solutions. The entirety of IQT – In-Q-Tel and IQT International, IQT Labs, B.Next, and now IQT Emerge – powers our government partners ahead of the technology curve. For more information visit www.iqt.org.