ServiceNow is acquiring Canadian AI services startup Element AI

Another one bites the dust. After launching in 2016, raising US$102 million in Series A funding and opening offices across five cities in North America, Europe, and Asia, one of Canada’s superstar startups has been scooped up by American software giant ServiceNow.

Terms of the deal are not disclosed. When it last raised money in September 2019, Element AI was valued between $600 million and $700 million.

While it’s disheartening to see another home-grown gem get acquired by a firm outside of the Great White North, ServiceNow says the acquisition of Element AI will greatly benefit the Canadian market.

“ServiceNow’s AI Innovation Hub in Canada follows similar investments by ServiceNow to create technology development centers in Chicago, Hyderabad, Kirkland, Wash., San Diego, and Silicon Valley,” according to a Nov. 30 press release from ServiceNow.

Element AI founder and chief executive officer Jean-Francois Gagné reiterated the company’s vision, noting its aim was to build and provision AI-based IT services for enterprises, many of which were not technology companies by nature.

“Element AI’s vision has always been to redefine how companies use AI to help people work smarter,” said Gagné. “ServiceNow is leading the workflow revolution and we are inspired by its purpose to make the world of work, work better for people. ServiceNow is the clear partner for us to apply our talent and technology to the most significant challenges facing the enterprise today.”

A spokesperson for ServiceNow told TechCrunch that the acquisition’s focus was to “gain technical talent and AI capabilities,” and that ServiceNow will start re-platforming some of the Montreal startup’s capabilities.  

“We expect to wind down most of Element AI’s customers after the deal is closed,” the spokesperson said. The acquisition is expected to be completed by early 2021.

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Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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