Voxel51 secures funding for its unstructured data management platform • TechCrunch

Voxel51, a startup developing a platform to analyze unstructured data, such as images and video, raised $12.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Drive Capital, with participation from Top Harvest, Shasta Ventures, eLab Ventures and ID Ventures. Founder and CEO Jason Corso told TechCrunch the new capital will be used to further grow the company’s platform and double the size of Voxel51’s team from 13 to 26 employees by the end of the year. year.

Corso says that alongside machine learning PhD Brian Moore, he created Voxel51 to harness the growing flood of unstructured data in AI and machine learning. A professor at the University of Michigan, Corso says he saw a “critical need” for better software infrastructure to help machine learning engineers and data scientists visualize, analyze and understand their data.

“Exploiting unstructured and visual data is a big challenge. While we have seen recent victories in transitioning capabilities from the lab to production, such as those of ADAS, there remains a challenge in bringing computer vision capabilities into production,” Corso told TechCrunch in an interview by E-mail. “[Voxel51] don’t just do to find the right data from which to train a model, but verifies that said data will train your model to do what you actually want it to do.

Voxel51’s core product, FiftyOne, was released as open source in August 2020. The tool aims to help developers visually analyze and improve unstructured datasets in computer vision use cases and machine learning. This week marks the launch of a fully managed release, FiftyOneTeams, which adds business-oriented features to the set, including the ability to search cloud-stored image and video datasets, share sets datasets with colleagues and to create and manage versions of datasets. .


Picture credits: Voxel51

Corso says the open-source version of FiftyOne — which supports on-premises, private, and public cloud deployments — has more than 150,000 monthly active users, while the fully managed version has “half a dozen” Fortune 500 and “dozens” of startups paying clients. , particularly in the automotive, retail, security and robotics sectors.

“We are completely open-source; new users have unlimited access to the full machine learning stack with unlimited data and usage. We do not require any copying or transmission of media or metadata on our systems,” Corso said. “Once leveraged, FiftyOne becomes the single trusted source for an organization’s data. »

Voxel51 has competition from Aquarium Learning and Lightly.AI. But Corso does not feel threatened. He says the startup has thrived during the pandemic as the computer vision industry — which touches areas like retail, security, advertising, agriculture and robotics — has grown, as has the demand for unstructured vision data and ways to manage it.

“Data is a key component of all machine learning processes; clean, high-quality data is a key component in building high-performance machine learning systems. Yet the infrastructure and best practices around comprehensive management of unstructured data are nascent,” Corso said. “FiftyOne provides a window into an organization’s data processes and data quality, ultimately enabling it to deploy better machine learning systems and components from its unstructured data.”

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Voxel51 has raised $15.8 million to date. Corso declined to reveal his earnings when asked.

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