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Polarr raises $11.5M to Take Aim at Edge Computing Dominance

Why Threshold Ventures is placing a bet on mobile-first enterprise collaboration and cross-platform edge computing

Last month, Polarr announced an $11.5M Series A round led by Threshold Ventures with participation from Cota Capital and Pear Ventures. The San Jose-based startup is the developer of applications that allow customers to easily edit their visual content with the assistance of AI. Polarr is reportedly planning to use the newly raised fund to expand the support of its algorithms to platforms beyond iOS.

What were the VCs thinking?

Given Threshold Ventures’ focus on identifying startups with disruptive technologies serving the needs of both consumers and enterprises, it’s likely that this was a play on the recent explosion of enterprise collaboration technology finding its way to mobile-first applications.

This deal is reminiscent of DFJ’s investment in Skype (Threshold is in the midst of a rebrand from DFJ), which had created an online platform for customers and businesses to video conference at a time when other emerging conferencing technologies were still challenged by voice-only use-cases.

The Traction Behind the Deal

Polarr has had incredible early adoption, with 4 million MAUs and only 30% of them based in the US. Major manufacturers have also signaled a willingness to help the company expand the capabilities of its algorithms across computing platforms. For instance, Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 models have incorporated Polarr’s machine-guided photo composition suggestions.

Fragmentation among hardware manufacturers has been problematic for developers who wish to leverage AI to assist their human operators. Such algorithms require customization to run accurately and efficiently on each platform. By establishing a foothold with major manufacturers, Polarr will be well-positioned to be among the first to benefit from pushing the limits of cross-platform edge computing.

This article originally appeared on Foundational.

Kevin He is a dedicated economics and mathematics double major at Williams College passionate about investing, venture capital, and startups. He has interned in finance, operations, and strategy at PillPack (acquired by Amazon), and has worked as a market analyst for a boutique management consulting firm BusinessHub Consultants in Santiago, Chile.

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