Algorithmia, a Seattle-based startup that wants to build a marketplace for algorithms, has raised $2.4 million in a round of seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group. Others participating include Rakuten Ventures, Deep Fork Capital and a group of angel investors including former University of Washington computer science professor and Farecast founder Oren Etzioni and former Microsoft general manager Charles Fitzgerald.
The company wants to make it easy for computer researchers to take algorithms that would ordinarily stay locked up in academic papers and monetize them — making them available to businesses who want to take advantage of new technology. The system is designed to make it possible for companies to integrate algorithms into their apps with fewer than 10 lines of code by using Algorithmia’s API.
“Algorithms make applications smarter,” Algorithmia Co-Founder and CEO Diego Oppenheimer said in a press release. “We are building a community around algorithm development and implementation where state-of-the-art algorithms are always live and accessible to anyone.”
It’s the brainchild of Oppenheimer and Kenny Daniel, two men who met when they were both students at Carnegie Mellon University. Most recently, Oppenheimer was a Program Manager at Microsoft working on Business Intelligence products, including Excel, SQL Server and PowerPivot. Prior to hiss work on Algorithmia, Daniel was a PhD candidate at USC working on Artificial Intelligence.
As a part of the deal, Madrona Managing Director Tim Porter will be joining the Algorithmia Board of Directors. In a press release, he said he’s optimistic about the company’s chances, especially
“Algorithmia creates a place where businesses can easily discover and experiment with a wide variety of algorithms on their own data, while avoiding all the hassles of IT or provisioning infrastructure,” he said. “We love the value proposition for both the demand and supply side of the marketplace, and Kenny and Diego are an amazing founding team who have both the technical and business chops to build this vision into reality.”
Right now, Algorithmia is in an invite-only private beta, though the company plans to open its doors to a broader audience by the end of the year.