AI Startup, Directly, has received a boost this week. The startup has announced that it has secured $20 million in its Series B funding round. But the most interesting part of this AI story is the participation of the software giant Microsoft.

Northgate Capital led this funding round, with special participation from Series A investors Costanoa Ventures and True Ventures. Microsoft Ventures, the software giant’s investment arm, has also participated in this funding round. Directly plans to use the fresh capital to further develop its core platform.

About the startup, Directly

Founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco, California, Directly provides a crowd-powered artificial intelligence platform for customer service.

Directly’s technology platform allows its customers to build networks of experts, affiliates, and power users that earn rewards for answering customer questions and creating support content. The company’s crowd-powered AI platform [VIDEO] combines with machine learning and gig works to provide a world-class customer experience for top firms like Microsoft, SAP, Samsung, and Autodesk.

Directly’s customers include some of the world’s largest and most powerful companies. World-renowned brands such as Microsoft, Autodesk, Pinterest, Samsung, LinkedIn, and SAP use Directly’s AI platform to leverage the expertise in their network and came out with a much better customer experience.

As of April 2018, the company has already secured around $35.8 million in total funding in four different funding rounds.

The company’s investors include Silicon Valley Bank, Costanoa Ventures, True Ventures, Northgate Capital and Microsoft Ventures. Gene Hoffman, Varsha Rao, and David Beyer are also known investors.

AI market to get even bigger this year

Artificial intelligence is expected to get even bigger this year. The latest AI story features a Chinese AI startup, SenseTime, which makes AI-powered automated surveillance technology for the Chinese police force. The Chinese startup has a massive boost, a fresh capital worth $600 million. Chinese e-commerce and tech giant Alibaba led this funding round. This gives SenseTime a valuation of more than $4.5 billion, making it the most valuable AI startup in the world today.

The Chinese government recently made stunning news when it announced plans to use the fast-growing technology 'to clean' the Chinese society. The announcement means only one thing- a huge amount of investment coming for the AI industry. The news about Chinese investment is significant for a number of good reasons. First, it clearly shows the growing interest of the Chinese government for the artificial intelligence technology. It also shows how the Chinese government plans to continue its investment into AI technology, both through private investment and government funding.