Algorithmia, a startup that provides a platform for simplifying the use of machine learning in production, has raised a $10.5 million series A round led by Google.
The raise confirms the existence of Google’s rumored artificial intelligence fund. Anna Patterson, the tech giant’s vice president of engineering for AI, will join Algorithmia’s board as part of the deal. Work-Bench, Madrona Venture Group, Rakuten Ventures, and Osage University Partners took part in the round.
“I think that at the core of it, [this investment] is a validation of what we’ve been doing, and the technical aspect behind it as well,” said Diego Oppenheimer, cofounder and CEO of Algorithmia. “The core of what we do at Algorithmia is — and we’ve done this from the beginning — we’ve tried to help developers build AI-driven applications.”
The Seattle-based startup makes that possible in two ways. First, the company provides a marketplace for developers to access AI algorithms they can drop into their apps without extensive domain knowledge. Second, the company sells the technology that it uses to serve machine learning algorithms at scale to enterprises as a virtual private cloud offering.
That service, called Codex, provides the infrastructure to help businesses run complex machine learning models in production to help power their applications.
It has been three years since Algorithmia last announced a round of funding. Oppenheimer said that the company didn’t need the funding because of its revenue and that he would prefer to raise as infrequently as possible in order to maximize the equity available to his employees.
“This was just a golden opportunity for us,” he said. “We saw an aggressive growth path on both the marketplace and on the enterprise side of things, where we said ‘hey, we actually need to go expand sales, marketing, engineering to win this.’”
Algorithmia has been growing massively over the past several years. While Oppenheimer said the company started with just a “couple hundred” algorithms, its marketplace has grown to serve 45,000 developers with 3,500 intelligent algorithms.