Diagnostic software startup Ubenwa collects C$2.5m in pre-seed VC

Radical Ventures and AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio led the round

  • Ubenwa is a spinout from Mila – the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute
  • Currently, Ubenwa is working with Montreal Children’s Hospital and pediatric hospital networks around the world to build a platform for sound-based diagnostic tools

Montreal-based Ubenwa, a developer of diagnostic software for the detection of medical anomalies in infant cry sounds, has raised C$2.5 million in pre-seed financing.

Radical Ventures and AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio led the round, with participation from returning investor AIX Ventures. Google Brain’s Hugo Larochelle and Marc Bellemare also invested.

Ubenwa is a spinout from Mila – the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute. Ubenwa is working with Montreal Children’s Hospital and pediatric hospital networks around the world to build a platform for sound-based diagnostic tools.

“AI is well-suited to deriving insights from the sound signature of an infant cry,” said Yoshua Bengio, head of Mila, in a statement. “Charles Onu’s leading research into identifying biomarkers in baby cry sounds offers the promise of unlocking our understanding of what’s behind a baby’s cry.”

Ubenwa’s technology is based on a foundation of scientific research developed in close collaboration with Mila, and six hospitals in three countries including Montréal Children’s Hospital, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, Rivers State Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and Santa Casa de Misericordia in Brazil. The company has the largest and most diverse clinically-annotated database of infant cry sounds, an essential asset for the development of audio-based biomarkers.

Radical Ventures is a Canadian early-stage venture capital firm investing in people applying artificial intelligence to shape the future of how we live, work and play.

AIX Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that is made up of some of the world’s top AI practitioners and is dedicated to empowering AI entrepreneurs. The $50 million Fund I is focused on pre-seed and seed startups.