Mar
13
2019
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Determined AI nabs $11M Series A to democratize AI development

Deep learning involves a highly iterative process where data scientists build models and test them on GPU-powered systems until they get something they can work with. It can be expensive and time-consuming, often taking weeks to fashion the right model. New startup Determined AI wants to change that by making the process faster, cheaper and more efficient. It emerged from stealth today with $11 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) with help from Amplify Partners, Haystack and SV Angel. The company also announced an earlier $2.6 million seed round from 2017, for a total $13.6 million raised to date.

Evan Sparks, co-founder and CEO at Determined AI, says that up until now, only the largest companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft could set up the infrastructure and systems to produce sophisticated AI like self-driving cars and voice recognition technologies. “Our view is that a big reason why [these big companies] can do that is that they all have internal software infrastructure that enables their teams of machine learning engineers and data scientists to be effective and produce applications quickly,” Sparks told TechCrunch.

Determined’s idea is to create software to handle everything from managing cluster compute resources to automating workflows, thereby putting some of that big-company technology within reach of any organization. “What we exist to do is to build that software for everyone else,” he said. The target market is Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies.

The company’s solution is based on research conducted over the last several years at AmpLab at the University of California, Berkeley (which is probably best known for developing Apache Spark). It used the knowledge generated in the lab to build sophisticated solutions that help make better use of a customer’s GPU resources.

“We are offering kind of a base layer that is scheduling and resource sharing for these highly expensive resources, and then on top of that we’ve layered some services around workflow automation.” Sparks said the team has generated state of the art results that are somewhere between five and 50 times faster than the results from tools that are available to most companies today.

For now, the startup is trying to help customers move away from generic kinds of solutions currently available to more customized approaches, using Determined AI tools to help speed up the AI production process. The money from today’s round should help fuel growth, add engineers and continue building the solution.

Jul
13
2017
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Marketing data startup Segment raises $64M

Segment co-founders Segment has raised $64 million in Series C funding, with the Y Combinator Continuity Fund and GV leading the round. The continuity fund is the $700 million fund led by former Twitter COO Ali Rowghani. It selectively writes checks for YC startups as they raise bigger rounds. As part of the deal, Rowghani will be joining Segment’s board of directors. In the funding announcement, he said… Read More

May
10
2017
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Cockroach Labs announces $27M Series B and enterprise tier for its reliable database

 “A database that replicates itself and is meant to survive” — that was the connection that Cockroach Labs CEO Spencer Kimball made between the startup’s memorable name and its value proposition. Despite entering a crowded market, Cockroach has been able to gain the favor of some of the best known VCs in tech. Today’s $27 million Series B is being led by… Read More

Mar
10
2017
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Google partners with VCs to host its own machine learning startup competition

 On the heels of acquiring data science community Kaggle, Google is launching a machine learning competition of its own for startups. Google is targeting early-stage companies taking an innovative approach to machine learning. The competition is being run in partnership with seven venture capital firms. Read More

Mar
07
2017
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Farmers Business Network cultivates $40 million to help farmers buy seeds at favorable prices

 GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and DBL Partners co-led a $40 million investment in Farmers Business Network Inc., the company announced on Tuesday. FBN started out as something of a professional network for farmers and other agronomists. It allowed people working in agriculture to anonymously share information about what they were paying for seeds, fertilizers, and other… Read More

May
09
2016
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CoreOS raises $28M Series B round led by GV

1047673820_b93b65ad27_o CoreOS, the company behind the container-centric CoreOS Linux distribution and Tectonic container management service, today announced that it has raised a $28 million Series B round led by GV, the fund formerly known as Google Ventures. Other investors include Accel, Fuel Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and the Y Combinator Continuity Fund. In total, the company has… Read More

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