Italy AI unicorn iGenius targets 650 million euros in funding round

ROME (Reuters) - Italian start up iGenius is aiming to raise 650 million euros ($698.56 million) in new funds to further develop its generative artificial intelligence (AI) for the financial and public sectors, the Milan-based company said on Tuesday.

Founded in 2016, iGenius is seeking to find its way in the emerging European AI sector, whose main players include France's Mistral and Germany's DeepL.

Intesa Sanpaolo's asset management Eurizon and Angel Capital Management are among the first investors to join this funding round allowing iGenius to reach the so-called unicorn status, given to startups with a valuation above $1 billion.

"Thanks to this capital hike, we are taking a big step forward to drive our progress in the AI sector for regulated industries," Chief Executive Uljan Sharka said in a statement.

Earlier this month iGenius launched "Italia", an open-source Large Language Model (LLM) tool, trained exclusively in Italian and "able to understand all linguistic and cultural nuances with unprecedented precision," the group's website said.

($1 = 0.9305 euros)

(Reporting by Romolo Tosiani; Editing by Giulia Segreti)