Announcing Our Series B with Index Ventures and Accel
by Alexandr Wang on August 8th, 2018
We have exciting news to share today! Scale raised $18M in Series B funding led by Index Ventures with Accel, Y Combinator, Drew Houston, and Justin Kan joining. Mike Volpi of Index Ventures will be joining our board. Scale has come a long way from the dorms at MIT, and we still have a long way to go.
Our mission at Scale is to accelerate the development of AI applications. We are strong believers in the transformational impact of AI and deep learning across every piece of the global economy—from manufacturing and agriculture to autonomous vehicles and security. Deep learning is eating the world in computer vision—models that outperform humans have become standard. It is an important and exciting transition for us—the future will happen very quickly.
The bottleneck that becomes apparent to every practitioner is labeled data. The most significant bit to the performance of your AI software is no longer the code you write, but rather the data you are training on. In fact, your code becomes a servant to your ever-growing data corpus—you build hacks to maintain the key invariant of data integrity. The way you improve your software is not to write more code, but to label more data.
So when we founded Scale, we devoted ourselves to solving the problem of data labeling. We saw parallels between building web software before cloud computing and AI development today. Before cloud computing, a significant hurdle to building on the internet was building and operating large server farms to power your software. Ultimately, that activation energy prevented many applications from being built. In the same way, a significant hurdle to building machine learning is building the capability to label large datasets.
We’re aiming to accomplish exactly what cloud computing did—offer reliable, cost-effective, scalable infrastructure to make it easier to build incredible applications.
Scale turned 2 years old last month, and we are well on our way. In autonomous driving, one of the most prominent applications of deep learning today, Scale has become the industry standard for labeling data. We’ve partnered with many industry leaders such as GM Cruise, Lyft, Zoox, and nuTonomy. We’ve labeled more than 200,000 miles of self-driving data (about the distance to the moon). Scale is also used by tech giants like Airbnb and Pinterest, and Fortune 500 companies like P&G and Liberty Mutual. We are proud that our partners have made Scale an integral and trusted part of their pioneering work.
Our Series B funding reflects the next stage in our journey, and we are not slowing down. We have a lot left to build, from supporting new applications to creating the best experience around training on labeled datasets. We strive to significantly accelerate the development of AI in every application that makes the future happen faster. To that end, one of our primary goals with the new funding will be growing our team. If you want to make a difference in the world of AI, come join us on our mission.
AI is just taking off. We’re excited to be fueling it.