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Nota seeks strategic investors to assist Europe, US expansion next year – CEO Interview.

  • Date 2020.08.31

Nota, a South Korea-based compressed AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology developer, is seeking strategic partners to support its Europe and US market entry next year, according to CEO Chae Myungsu.

The company aims to expand overseas upon its launch of automatic AI model platform ‘NetsPresso’  in 1H21 and could consider a minority stake sale during the process, he said. Strategic companies in the demand of independent AI deployment, as its solution does not require a separate server or cloud computing, their business system would be a good t, he added.

Nota announced on 18 August that it raised Series A KRW 8bn (USD 6.7m) from domestic investors
such as StoneBridge Ventures, system integration company Samsung SDS [KRX:018260], and information technology service provider LG CNS this month. The capitals will be used for hiring, technological development, and foreign expansion. It handled this funding round internally, he noted.

With its global offices in Berlin and San Jose, the company will tap business opportunities in those regions with priority, said Chae. It is currently working with global semiconductor company Intel Corp [NASDAQ:INTC] for advancing its AI technology.

Nota weighs toward an option of being acquired by a larger strategic player in the future than going public since it sees greater opportunity in scaling up the business from the sale, Chae noted.

The company's global peers [XNOR.AI](http://xnor.ai/), a Seattle startup for low-power, edge-based AI business, was recently acquired by California-based tech rm Apple [NASDAQ:AAPL] and DeepScale in the US was also sold to the larger player, he added.

A group of investors has sold [Xnor.ai](http://xnor.ai/) to Apple for an estimated consideration of USD 200m in January 2020, according to Mergermarket data. Palo Alto-based electric car manufacturer Tesla
[NASDAQ:TSLA] acquired the four-year-old startup DeepScale, which provides Artificial Intelligence in assisted and automated driving in October 2019, the data shows.

The company's flagship product NetsPresso is a compressed AI solution that could be deployed independently in small electronic devices, which are low powering with limited memory loads, such as mobile and other internet-connected products, according to the company’s document.

It has been making partnerships with domestic enterprises in the wide industry sector, said Chae. He pointed out its collaboration with local retailer E-mart [KRX:139480] for having its deep learning
solution overseeing stores’ inventory management as an example

Nota was found in 2015 by Chae, who also is the largest shareholder with an undisclosed stake, he added.

- Merger Market, Aug 31, 2020
  • Interview