Algorithmia announced Tuesday that it has raised $25 million in new funding to build out tools that make machine learning easier to implement.
Norwest Venture Partners led the Series B round, which brings the total amount of money raised by the Seattle startup to $37.9 million. Rama Sekhar of Norwest will be joining Algorithmia’s board of directors, and existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Gradient Ventures, Work-Bench, Osage University Partners, and Rakuten Capital all participated in the new round, Algorithmia said in a blog post.
Algorithmia, ranked No. 115 on the GeekWire 200, has shifted gears a bit over the last few years since Anna Patterson of Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-oriented investment arm, joined the board during its Series A round. Once a marketplace for machine-learning algorithms that companies could find and insert into their applications, Algorithmia is now focused on helping companies implement those algorithms into their software-development process, which is difficult for companies new to machine learning.
In an interview, Algorithmia CEO Diego Oppenheimer said that one of the biggest challenges inside companies working on machine learning — which is hard enough itself as it is — is getting their machine-learning models up and running reliably within their applications. Algorithmia’s approach lets those data scientists work with their preferred tools while providing the glue between their models and their company’s production environment, and it was born from the system the company used to deploy machine-learning models in its marketplace.
“The big, big problem here of AI adoption is that these companies can’t get anything into production, and we can accelerate that from months to days or hours,” Oppenheimer said.
The company now has 40 employees, and hopes to double that number by the end of the year, Oppenheimer said. The hiring plan will be spread across several different areas, primarily on engineering and product development but also across sales and marketing: “Making enterprises successful requires a full team, and scaling out those teams is really what this round is about,” he said.
Algorithmia’s Hernan Alvarez, vice president of product at the growing company, will be giving a tech talk at our upcoming GeekWire Cloud Summit on June 5 in Bellevue. Oppenheimer spoke at the inaugural event two years ago, and a video of that talk follows below:
[Editor’s note: This post was updated with additional information.]