As AI has grown from a niche to a critical technology, the companies that enable it have mushroomed and, in many cases, thrived. A good example of this success is DefinedCrowd, which went from Disruptive stage to the worldwide AI toolbox for the Fortune 500 in just a few years. The company comes raised a new round of B $ 50.5 million to fuel its expansion.
DefinedCrowd does not do AI, but rather provides data used to create it, specializing in natural language processing. After all, someone has to check the 500 different ways you can request the weather – otherwise it would be much more difficult for machine learning systems to say what users mean. The same goes for computer vision, sentiment recognition and other areas for which the company creates and sorts data. DefinedCrowd has a paid community of hundreds of thousands of people doing this much needed but bulky work.
As artificial intelligence has made its way into everything from media creation and publishing to enterprise software, there is no shortage of companies looking for training data.
"The demand for data has grown steadily in the past two years – companies are increasingly aware of the impact of data on their systemsand were looking for more languages and domains that weren't taken into account 5 years ago, "co-founder and CEO Daniela Braga told TechCrunch.
She highlighted inclusiveness, the potential for bias and more multilingual deployments as drivers of this demand. New markets and applications are constantly opening up and entrants need high quality data to develop ready-to-eat products.
"This puts us in a very good position because our data is agnostic and we can work on just about any vertical sector," said Braga.
As proof that this is not just wishful thinking, the company has reported a significant 656% increase in revenues year over year. They also almost tripled the size of their workforce during this period, to more than 250 people.
Braga expects much of the $ 50 million to be hired: developers need to build the products to follow the roadmap. That means doubling the number of employees – again.
I asked if the current pandemic has had a major effect on the operations or activities of DefinedCrowd. Braga noted that she had not "noticed a significant industry slowdown", likely because product development continued in anticipation of the normalization of consumer and business needs.
"We decided to make our business completely remote before implementing the lockout measures, ”she said. "Transferring each employee to remote work in a short period of time was a challenge, however, since we were already a global company with four offices in three different countries, the adaptation phase was fairly smooth and we were able to maintain a process speed. "
Semapa Next and Hermes GPE were added this round to the growing list of investors, which now includes Evolution Equity Partners, Kibo Ventures, Portugal Ventures, Bynd Venture Capital, EDP Ventures, IronFire Ventures, Amazon Alexa Fund, Sony Innovation Fund and MasterCard.