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Proto receives $1.45M from FedDev Ontario

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Announced on October 7, 2022, Proto received a $1.45M repayable contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). This funding will be used to expand its AI Customer Experience solutions for low-resourced languages in Africa and Asia, as well as to create 15 new skilled jobs in Canada.

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the support for Proto as part of a $7.5 million Government of Canada investment in several tech companies based in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario, the country’s largest province. As one of three selected tech scale-ups, Proto is dedicated to creating inclusive customer experience solutions with its proprietary HermesAI™ artificial intelligence engine, which enables governments and businesses to automate communications in languages such as Cebuano, Kinyarwanda, and Twi.

Proto’s data-heavy deployments with government and private-sector organizations enable it to create competitive machine learning models for local languages. While most chatbots are quite limited in their ability to understand local and mixed languages in emerging markets, Proto is uniquely capable of understanding both local and mixed languages, such as Taglish (a hybrid of Tagalog and English).

Recent deployments include national-scale AI solutions for government entities such as the National Bank of Rwanda and Bank of Ghana and businesses such as Philcare Insurance and Medical City Clinics.

Proto’s technology enables services for underserved communities to be more accessible to local customers at scale, from patient care to banking support. 

In July, Proto raised a $5.6M Series A round led by Mucker Capital with participation from Yolo Investments. Proto is part of Canada’s principal tech hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, which is home to over 1,500 tech-based businesses. Shinydocs Corp and Encircle Inc. also received funding from FedDev Ontario during this announcement.

Proto CEO Curtis Matlock said: “This contribution from FedDev Ontario will enable us to accelerate our machine learning and revenue expansion capabilities in multiple emerging markets at once. We're grateful for our government's visionary support, which helps to position Proto as the automation leader for strategic languages and niches within the rapidly-growing conversational AI industry.”
Minister Filomena Tassi said: “The Government of Canada is providing critical support to companies that are developing new, cutting-edge technologies here in southern Ontario and across Canada. Today’s investment will ensure the innovation sector in Kitchener-Waterloo continues to be a global leader by providing support to local companies and ensuring they have the tools they need to produce made-in-Canada technologies that will grow our economy and create high-quality jobs.”

About Proto

Proto is the leader for inclusive chatbots and multilingual contact center automation in emerging markets. Proto’s AI Customer Experience (AICX) platform is powered by proprietary natural language processing (NLP) for under-resourced and rare languages. Proto's novel deep-learning techniques and regulatory partnerships maximize customer experience, protection, and lifetime value.

About FedDev Ontario

For 13 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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