Michael Dell and Others Have Great Faith In Amir Husain’s SparkCognition

Artificial intelligence is driving modern innovation and SparkCognition wants to help clients reach their full potential. As a market leader in cognitive computing analytics, they’ve partnered with the likes of Mitsubushi Hitachi Power Systems to build the first autonomous power plant and with Boeing to create an aeronautic operating system for self-driving planes.

“You hear a lot about self-driving cars. But why can’t every industrial vehicle drive itself? Why can’t every industrial asset maintain itself? That’s the runway we’re talking about,” Amir Husain, SparkCognition’s founder and CEO, said in an interview.

Husain is no stranger to startups. Before launching his AI initiative, he founded his first computer company, called Kurion, after dropping out of his PhD program in 1999. About his choice to leave college, he said: “I’ve never been satisfied just coming up with an idea and writing about it. I want to take the idea, produce it, and apply it, so I became an entrepreneur.”

He sold Kurian to iSyndicate, a content syndication company, in 2001 and started a systems management company for wide-scale secure computing he called Inframanage. That company later merged with ClearCube Technology in 2002 where he stayed on as chief technology officer until 2008. He became a founding member of IBM’s Watson Ecosystem board of advisors in 2014 and continues to counsel the company on how to bring its cognitive-computing technology to market.

“SparkCognition… [was] my third company. From a business standpoint, there was a lot of skepticism about artificial intelligence at first. But around 2012, I felt that things were changing with improvements in algorithms and computers,” Husain said in a 2019 interview with Fortune. “Michael Dell became my first investor through his personal MSD Capital fund. Now – Boeing, CME Ventures, Verizon Ventures, and numerous others have become investors.”

In addition to their partnerships, SparkCognition offers several solutions designed to streamline processes that are usually labor-intensive, prone to human error and costly to manage. Their flagship products include DeepArmor, an AI-powered endpoint cybersecurity solution that has successfully blocked threats like WannaCry, NotPetya, and BadRabbit; they also offer SparkPredict, an asset protection and optimization system that learns from sensor data and can predict failures before they occur; and DeepNLP, which brings together the best of human intelligence and machine scaling to make sense of unstructured data.

The Texas-based company recently raised a successful Series C funding round of $100 million – bringing their total to an impressive $163.2 million in overall investments. Led by March Capital Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in the enterprise software, cloud & IoT infrastructure, and next-gen consumer spheres. The Santa Monica-based VC business has been providing financial backing to high-growth potentials since 2014 and currently has $500 million in assets under management.

With 30 plus portfolio companies, the firm plays an active, hands-on role with each business' leadership team. Half of their current assets reside within the United States but they also have investments within the UK, Philippines, Australia, and India. Some of their more notable exits include CrowdStrike, TeleSign, and EB Security.