Faculty, a British artificial intelligence (AI) company, has raised GBP30 million in growth funding from the Apax Digital Fund (ADF). It is the largest investment Faculty has accepted to date, and brings total investment to nearly GBP40 million.
The funding will be used to drive the expansion of Faculty’s pioneering “AI as a Service” model. From helping companies optimise marketing spend and more accurately forecasting demand for consumer goods, to predicting pressures on the healthcare system during a pandemic, Faculty’s “AI as a Service” model can be applied to a broad range of problems for both public and private sector organisations. It enables customers to customise powerful AI solutions to their needs, with the ongoing training and support that guarantees safe and high-performance AI over the long term.
The investment will support the next phase of the company’s growth over the coming years. In delivering its vision for “AI as a Service”, Faculty will continue to enhance its technology offering and expects to create over 400 new jobs across its engineering, product and delivery teams. The investment will also be put towards the rollout of Faculty’s new learning and development programme that will sit at the centre of the business to help develop technical and commercial talent as the company scales.
Marc Warner, CEO & Co-Founder of Faculty, says: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for artificial intelligence, and for Faculty in particular. Too many organisations haven’t been able to realise the value of AI, because they haven’t had the tools to integrate it successfully into their business. Customers are rightly demanding high performance technology to unlock the power of data and maximise impact. Faculty can help elevate an organisation’s performance, whether this enables better operational decisions, or increasing ROI. Apax’s expertise and global network means we will continue to grow at pace, bringing the power of AI to even more customers, helping them to make effective, robust decisions with real-world impact.”
The funding will also accelerate Faculty’s international expansion. The company is already working across five continents and is seeing growing global customer demand for its safe and customised AI solutions.
Founded in 2014 by Dr Marc Warner, Dr Angie Ma and Andrew Brookes, Faculty has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s most experienced teams of AI and ML specialists, able to support any organisation to make AI effective and drive value. The company has a specialist team that includes over 50+ PhDs with experience of working with over 230 customers across the globe.
Faculty has sustained strong growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, winning 52 new customers in the last financial year including the National Crime Agency, Red Bull, Virgin Media, Moonpig, and a two-year partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement to help them to build forecasting capabilities and improve data-driven decision-making. The company recently made headlines for its critical work enabling the NHS to divert resources to areas worst affected by the pandemic ahead of time.
Mark Beith, Partner at Apax Digital, who joins Faculty’s board of directors, says: “Faculty is a world-leading AI company with cutting-edge technology, inspiring people and culture, and with phenomenal customer feedback. They enable customers to realise the tremendous value of AI quickly but responsibly, providing robust, fair and explainable AI, with advanced data privacy. We have seen the power and impact of their solutions first-hand, as a client, and are thrilled to partner with Marc, Angie, Andy and the team to support their global expansion.”
The Apax Digital Fund joins Faculty’s existing investors, including Guardian Media Group Ventures, LocalGlobe, and Jaan Tallinn, one of Skype’s founding engineers.