20 February 2020

CDC Group backs AI company iMerit with new investment

CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, has invested in iMerit, the data annotation and enrichment company, enabling it to expand its advanced workforce to 10,000 global employees by 2023.  

In total iMerit has attracted $20 million in Series B funding led by CDC Group. The new capital also includes participation from existing investors. 

In addition to expanding the workforce the new funds will be used to continue innovation for the company’s proprietary AI platform that delivers 100% quality control and over 98% accuracy.  

Data annotation is the process by which information is made usable for machine learning while data enrichment refines and improves raw data for future use. 

iMerit was founded in 2012 with the vision of bringing a diverse talent pool from underserved backgrounds into the digital workforce. Currently the company employs 3,000 workers, over half of whom are women, across India, Bhutan and the USA 

iMerit’s high-quality data sets for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are leading the industry and achieving the highest security certification.  

The company’s data annotation and enrichment specialists work across nine secure centres globally providing solutions across multiple markets including automotive, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, media and entertainment, and government. iMerit has been cash positive for the last 2 years and is continuing to differentiate from the rest of the market.

CDC Group CEO, Nick O’Donohoe said:

“Our investment in iMerit underlines our commitment to back companies that are creating skilled jobs, particularly for women, in countries where they are most needed. 

“Advances in AI technology are normally seen as a threat to jobs. iMerit has demonstrated that the opposite is true. The technology sector has an incredibly important role to play in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and in that regard iMerit is a true pioneer.” 

iMerit CEO and founder Radha R. Basu added:

“This investment validates our belief that the growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning is best serviced by a full-time, specialist workforce that continuously learns and grows with the technology. And CDC Group shares this belief. This new funding will enable iMerit to continue to provide enterprise-scale and quality to a large client base in a fast-growing and evolving market.” 

iMerit’s contributions to global AI initiatives in 2020 will include: 

  • Working with several of the leading global autonomous vehicle companies on image and video data to advance their product goals; 
  • Solving AI use case challenges spanning agriculture, wildlife conservation and risk management, via geospatial data; 
  • Working with leading medical technology companies to train advanced data models for diagnostic and treatment purposes as well as advancing cancer cell research; 
  • Empowering investment companies in their trading strategies through the use of enriched data on up to 3,500 funds per day.About iMerit
    iMerit’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning platform powers advanced algorithms in Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural Language Understanding, e-Commerce, Augmented Reality and Data Analytics. It works on data for transformative technologies such as advancing cancer cell research, optimizing crop yields and training driverless cars to understand their environment. The company drives social and economic change by tapping into an under-resourced talent pool and creating digital inclusion.  

The team consists of 3000 full-time staff, with more than 50% being women. The company’s initial investors are Omidyar Network, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Khosla Impact. For more information, visit: www.imerit.net.

About CDC Group
CDC Group is the world’s first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in Africa and South Asia. CDC is a key advocate for the adoption of renewable energy in Africa and South Africa in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.  

The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people. CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.  

CDC’s expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment. CDC provides flexible capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs.  It can invest across all sectors, but prioritizes those that help further development, such as infrastructure, financial institutions, manufacturing, and constructions. Find out more at www.cdcgroup.com.

Media Contact
Andrea Heuer at Consort Partners
San Francisco
andreah@consortpartners.com

For further information please contact
Andrew Murray-Watson
123 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6DE
M. +44 (0) 7515 695232
amurray-watson@cdcgroup.com