Citadel AI raises 100 million JPY in seed funding from UTokyo IPC and ANRI

October 4, 2021
2021
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Citadel AI Inc., the leader in trustworthy AI infrastructure, has raised a total of 100 million JPY in seed funding from UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd (UTokyo IPC) and ANRI.
We’re excited to partner with these top-tier investors to advance Citadel AI. This capital will enable us to grow our engineering team and accelerate the development of our ML reliability products. We’re actively recruiting talented software engineers to join our team – apply here!
Citadel AI Inc. builds monitoring, testing, and governance tools for ML applications. We are located in Tokyo, but have an international team and global target market. Our CTO was the former product manager for ML infrastructure at Google Brain, and now leads Citadel AI’s product and engineering teams. 

Our trustworthy AI technology

Unlike traditional software, the accuracy of AI software quickly deteriorates in a real-world, rapidly changing environment. As society increasingly relies on automated systems to make critical decisions, it’s essential for AI owners to have quality management tools in place.

In May 2020, we launched Citadel Radar (beta), our AI monitoring tool that automatically detects errors and bias in input data and output predictions. Radar is also equipped with XAI functionality to easily understand, debug, and improve any black-box AI system. 

Citadel Radar’s beta users include more than 10 enterprise companies, including large manufacturers, system integrators, and startups.

Explainable and trustworthy AI is essential for real-world deployments

Regulatory guidelines for AI accountability and reliability are emerging in Europe and the United States, with the EU announcing proposed regulations on artificial intelligence applications in April 2021. In Japan, organizations like AIST have recently published guidelines for AI quality management.

In the field of traditional software engineering, there are already established best practices and products for software testing and monitoring. On the other hand, for AI systems, there are currently very few tools that easily and proactively protect AI owners, despite the increased risks.

Citadel AI aims to fill this gap and protect enterprise AI with end-to-end solutions across the ML development lifecycle, from testing to serving.

Statement from Mr. Takahiro Mizumoto, Partner, UTokyo Innovation Platform

We are honored to participate in the seed round of Citadel AI as a lead investor. Explainable AI is critical for organizations to build trust and credibility when running AI models in a production environment. The market is already starting to take off in countries with advanced AI implementations, such as the US, and we are confident that Citadel AI will become a leading company in Japan. And with its global founding team, we expect the company to become a successful model for start-ups related to the University of Tokyo.

Statement from Mr. Masahiro Sameshima, General Partner, ANRI

In the 2000s, cybersecurity experts started building firewalls and intrusion detection systems, which grew into a thriving industry. 20 years later, as AI is becoming integrated into the fabric of society, I’m convinced that AI quality management and error detection systems like Citadel AI’s will become similarly successful. With Mr. Kobayashi's strong management track record in Japanese and US companies, and Kenny's engineering background in world-leading tech companies, I believe Citadel AI will become the next major challenger to build an AI oriented society.

Statement from Mr.Hironori Kobayashi, President and CEO, Citadel AI

In the near future, AI systems should help society make better decisions, advance economic growth, and enrich the lives and opportunities of everyone. To achieve this, it is essential for AI owners to build reliable systems that humans can trust, which is our mission at Citadel AI. We look forward to partnering with UTokyo IPC and ANRI to accelerate the growth of our trustworthy AI technology. With this capital, we are actively hiring talented software engineers to join our team and build this future!

About UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd.

UTokyo IPC is a wholly owned investment company of the University of Tokyo that aims to expand and develop the innovation ecosystem in Japan and globally through collaboration with venture capitalists, corporations, universities, academia and private companies.

Representative Director:       Katsuhiko Oizumi

Headquarters:          Bunkyo, Tokyo

Establishment:         January 2016

Company URL:          https://www.utokyo-ipc.co.jp/

About ANRI 

ANRI is an independent venture capital firm that supports global start-up entrepreneurs in a wide range of technology fields, such as the Internet, deep tech, and life sciences, from the seed stage based on the vision of "Make the Future AWESOME”.

Representative Partner:        Anri Samata

Headquarters:          Shibuya, Tokyo

Establishment:         May 2012

Company URL:          https://anri.vc

About Citadel AI Inc.

Citadel AI is a startup in Tokyo, and received The University of Tokyo’s IPC 1stRound award in 2021. The co-founder & CTO was the former product manager for ML infrastructure at Google Brain, and is currently leading Citadel AI’s product and engineering teams.

Representative Director:       Hironori “Rick” Kobayashi

Headquarters:          Shibuya, Tokyo

Establishment:         December 2020

Company URL:          https://www.citadel.co.jp

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