US-based AI firm DataRobot invests S$15 million to set up research centre in Singapore

DataRobot had a booth at the Singapore Fintech Festival last week.

US-based artificial intelligence (AI) company DataRobot announced today (Nov 21) that it will invest S$15 million ($11 million) to primarily set up its regional business headquarters here and expand its advanced AI R&D centre.

The company said that half of its initial investment will be spent on hiring. It plans to hire 50 employees here by 2019 with 40% of the staff comprising technical experts and data scientists.

It set up a sales office here in 2014.

Depending on economic and business performance, DataRobot plans to up its investment into its Singapore operations by up to an additional S$50 million, said a statement.

Mr Jeremy Achin, DataRobot’s founder and CEO said the region is a “key growth market” for the company’s technology which has been used globally to help insurance companies detect fraudulent claims, businesses set competitive pricing and financial institutions predict loan defaults.

He said: “The rise of data-driven economy favours corporations which can make better sense of their data to gain a competitive advantage.

“The future is in AI and we believe Singapore can be the regional centre of this brave new world.”

Earlier this month, the Singapore Government announced its infocomm media Industry Transformation Map, which is expected to create 16,000 jobs by 2020, outlining AI as a growth area.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority is set to launch an AI apprenticeship programme to provide on-the-job or course training for the first batch of 200 AI professionals over the next three years.

In May, the National Research Foundation said it will invest S$150 million over the next five years in AI.SG, a new national programme that seeks to boost Singapore’s AI capabilities.