Swedish payment terminal company iZettle has won €30 million (£26.6 million) in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to explore artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for small businesses.
AI and machine learning knowledge and technology are often geared towards big companies, and small businesses don’t usually have the funds to develop solutions tailored to their needs. To tackle this problem, Stockholm-based iZettle plans to invest in research and development over the next three years, specifically to benefit smaller businesses.
“We’re proud to receive this stamp of approval from the EIB,” said CEO and cofounder of iZettle Jacob de Geer.
“It’s the type of offer you can’t refuse and it will allow us to further accelerate our growth and continue to level the playing field for small businesses, giving them access to tools to take on the big corporations,” he said.
iZettle introduced the world’s first mini chip card reader for mobile devices in 2011, and allows individuals and small businesses to accept card payments via an app and card reader. In January, it announced having raised €60 million (£53.2 million) to fund further growth, and said in July it was signing up 1,000 new businesses per day.
It will use the latest €30 million to focus on four key areas: development of payment methods and infrastructure, AI-driven solutions and knowledge, the digitization of commerce processes and scaling legislative and compliance systems.
“I wish the company every success in their research and development programme,” said European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen.
“I hope other small businesses are inspired to also apply to the EIB’s partners for financing to innovate, expand their activities and create jobs.”
The funding comes under the European Growth Finance Facility, part of the Investment Plan for Europe.