Clarifai’s about to become $30 million better thanks to our Series B funding round led by our new investors Menlo Ventures and existing investors Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Qualcomm Ventures and many others. In this blog post, our CEO Matt Zeiler talks about this round of funding and what it means for our customers.
Every day, more of our world is optimized through artificial intelligence. Self-driving cars, baby monitors, shopping recommendations, personal assistants - AI is well on its way to augmenting every part of our human experience. As a result, our lives have the potential to be better than they ever were before, with machines completing rote tasks and freeing up our time to engage in higher order pursuits.
Clarifai was founded in 2013 exactly for that reason - to solve real-world problems with AI, starting with visual recognition. We’ve always believed that AI can augment human intelligence to transform how businesses and developers build apps and create user experiences. Fast forward to 2016 and our mission to understand every image and video to improve life is close at hand. We’ve gone from a single computer in an apartment to offices in New York and San Francisco, from a handful of data scientists to a stellar team of engineers, researchers, and business people, and from winning the top five places in the ImageNet competition to making billions of predictions per month.
While we’re very proud of these achievements, we’re just starting to scratch the surface. Raising a large $30 million Series B allows us to innovate further on our products, accelerate our already rapid growth, and expand our services across the globe.
We’re excited and humbled to be given this opportunity, and we give thanks to our customers and partners for making this possible. It’s been an amazing journey and we’re proud to be taking it with you.
We’re thrilled to add Matt Murphy to our board and Menlo Ventures to our investor team. Matt Murphy brings a wealth of experience in growing cloud infrastructure and AI-first SaaS businesses to Clarifai. We’re also excited that Albert Wenger from Union Square Ventures and Zavain Dar from Lux Capital have signed on for another round with us to continue to provide their insight and guidance as part of our board. The vote of confidence from our existing investors inspires our team to achieve even greater things!
So, what does this mean for our users? This new round of funding represents an opportunity for Clarifai to focus on our long-term objectives of building AI products that enable you to build smarter, hack faster, and scale better.
One of the biggest reasons for our fundraise is to continue enabling anyone in the world to train and use AI. We’ve recognized the importance of diversity, not only in our workplace but also in our data, and we won’t be satisfied until everyone can teach computers how to see the world from their point of view. Custom Training is just our first step toward AI personalization and fostering diversity in AI.
Another core focus of ours is to continue to build AI tools, like Visual Search, that give non-tech companies and small and medium businesses the same competitive advantages in AI as the big tech companies. We want to enable you to harness the power to deliver a great user experience without having to worry about the underlying technology.
Fundamentally, we want to teach computers how to see the world like humans. Recognizing objects is one piece of the puzzle, but by itself, it’s not very “human.” When people see the world, they don’t just see objects. They see complexity, context, and relationships that make up a greater understanding - an understanding that differs from person to person.
So, when we’re building artificial intelligence tools at Clarifai, what we’re really thinking about is human intelligence and how we can amplify it to help solve real-world problems like:
- Understanding every image and video
- Seeing what’s in every piece of user-generated content
- Protecting marketplaces from every illegal listing
- Moderating every piece of unwanted or offensive content
- Making every search and recommendation better
- Saving every home from energy inefficiency
- Addressing inequality in every society
- Preventing crime in every community
- Diagnosing every disease
- Detecting every sign of global warming
And, there are a million other applications for our technology that we haven’t listed because, hey, we’re only human.
We’re excited to continue this journey with you and thank you for being a part of our family. We’ve built only the tip of the iceberg on our roadmap, and there are more challenges to overcome and fun to be had in the immediate future. With $30 million, we’ll be growing fast, and we want you to join our team!