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SparkPredict application
One of SparkCognition’s AI products, SparkPredict, is designed to predict wind turbine failures before they occur. (SparkCognition via YouTube)

Boeing’s recently established venture arm, HorizonX, has joined with other investors in a $32.5 million funding round for SparkCognition, a Texas-based company focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the fields of information technology security and industrial operations.

The Series B round is being led by Verizon Ventures. Boeing said it was among a group of strategic investors in SparkCognition, which counts aerospace and defense among its target markets.

“SparkCognition is at the forefront of a technological shift in machine learning and artificial intelligence that will revolutionize every aspect of industry,” Greg Hyslop, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president for engineering, test and technology, said today in a news release. “They are leaders in AI, and they are pursuing the types of technologies that are critical to our future products and services.”

Amir Husain, founder and CEO of Austin-based SparkCognition, said the investment from Boeing and Verizon “serves as tremendous validation of our technology and track record.”

The venture previously raised more than $16 million from investors such as Michael Dell’s private equity arm, MSD Capital, and The Entrepreneur’s Fund, Alameda Ventures, Verizon Ventures, CME Ventures and Brevan Howard. In a news release, SparkCognition said several existing investors also participated in the latest round.

Boeing HorizonX was created earlier this year to make targeted investments in early-stage businesses. Other ventures in which HorizonX has invested include Kirkland, Wash.-based Zunum Aero, which is working on new types of hybrid electric aircraft; and Herndon, Va.-based Upskill, which is working on enterprise software for augmented-reality devices.

Verizon Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm unit of Verizon Communications.

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