Google’s AI fund has made its first public investment, leading a $10.5 million Series A funding round for Algorithmia, a marketplace and enterprise solution that enables developers to tap into its catalog of 3,500 algorithms, functions and machine-learning models.
According to news from TechCrunch, other participants in the round include new investor Work-Bench, as well as current investors Madrona Venture Group, Rakuten Ventures and Osage University Partners.
Seattle-based Algorithmia allows companies to make use of recent machine-learning advances, with algorithms on the site developed by university researchers and individual developers worldwide. It currently has 45,000 developers on its platform. The company plans to use the Series A funding to hire more engineers, as well as open offices in New York City.
“There are a lot of people coming to VCs and saying: We are AI for this — and we are AI for that,” said Algorithmia’s Founder and CEO Diego Oppenheimer. “But there aren’t that many that are enabling this. The back-end operations, the scaling. Everybody believes that toolset is necessary.”
Algorithmia’s platform was built to be portable, and the service currently runs on AWS, Azure and the Google Cloud Platform. The team also supports private deployments on OpenStack, which its customers in the financial and telecom businesses requested. And because the service essentially runs its users’ random code on its servers, the team has long focused on security, which is paying off now that the company is talking to financial institutions and government agencies.
“We were impressed with Algorithmia’s engineering capabilities and community promise,” said Anna Patterson, Google’s VP of engineering for AI and the head of the company’s new AI fund. “They’ve built a secure and scalable marketplace for AI models that allows developers to openly collaborate.”