SuperAnnotate, an AI-powered annotation platform for engineers and labeling teams, today announced it has raised $3 million in venture funding. The investment follows a four-month period during which the startup signed more than 3,000 data scientists and over 100 companies as customers, including Starsky Robotics, Percepto, Code42, Acme AI, and ClayAir.
Data prep, processing, and engineering tasks consume over 80% of the time dedicated to most AI and machine learning projects, according to Cognilytica. Labeling is one of those tasks, with the vast majority of algorithms currently trained on human-annotated data. This may be why the market for annotation tools is expected to reach $2.57 billion by 2027.
SuperAnnotate provides these tools, along with a simple communication system, recognition improvement, image status tracking, templates, dashboards, and more. Optimized for image annotation, its platform helps identify the right annotation partners — with expertise in everything from architecture to design, agriculture, and radiology — by sharing projects with multiple teams.
Data annotators using SuperAnnotate gain access to automatic predictions and quality and data management systems. CTO Vahan Petrosyan created the algorithms underpinning the systems while completing his Ph.D. at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. The systems help create pixel-accurate training data for autonomous vehicles, drones, and medical computer vision, as well as medical applications from single images or several frames. In the case of videos, customers only need to label the first frame, and SuperAnnotate’s partners track the object in consecutive frames.
SuperAnnotate is in a league adjacent to companies Scale AI, which recently raised $100 million for its extensive suite of data labeling services, and CloudFactory, which says it offers labelers growth opportunities and “metric-driven” bonuses. That’s not to mention Hive, which raked in $10.6 million in November 2019; Alegion, which nabbed $12 million in August 2019; Appen; or Cognizant.
And SuperAnnotate CEO Tigran Petrosyan says he’s been encouraged by the high level of organic adoption. “This [growth] shows that we are building something unique. That makes us very proud and humbled and motivates us to work even harder to address the pains of our users,” he said in a statement. “Coming from academia and seeing the pains of labeling firsthand, we work overtime to make sure our users have the right tools and are connected with the right teams to successfully complete their computer vision projects with the highest detection accuracies.”
Point Nine Capital led SuperAnnotate’s seed funding round, with participation from Runa Capital, Fathom Capital, Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, and Plug and Play Ventures. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with satellite offices in Sweden and Armenia.