SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Samasource, the leader in providing secure, high-quality training data for AI technologies, announces that it has closed a $14.8M million Series A funding round led by Ridge Ventures. Social Impact Ventures, Bestseller Foundation, and Bluecrest Limited Capital also joined the round.
"One of the biggest drivers of AI model value is the quality of the labeling and tagging of the corpus of training data. While many in the industry use casual, untrained gig-economy labor with poor results, I was excited to see the quality, security and high throughput Samasource achieves for its clients," said Ben Metcalfe, principal at Ridge Ventures. "It's no surprise that so many leaders in the AI and Machine Learning space rely on the company for its best-in-class data labeling services to help build their world-changing models. As Samasource continues to combine software intelligence with their inspiring workforce, I'm honored to partner with them to bring forth the next AI-powered industrial revolution."
The Series A funding will be used to scale Samasource's engineering, sales and marketing efforts. The funding propels the breadth of Samasource's technology with more advanced features in the current platform, including building upon current annotation automation capabilities that increase efficiency and quality, and more advanced integration with customer's machine learning models via API. It enables the company to further establish itself as a pioneer in the field of AI and training data and continue to deliver secure, high-quality training data to 25% of Fortune 50 companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, Continental.
"To receive the funding support of Ridge Ventures has allowed us to accelerate growth beyond our expectations,'' said Leila Janah, founder and CEO of Samasource. "AI is growing at breakneck speed, and we know the biggest bottleneck is secure, high-quality training data. Our emphasis on investments in technology and talent will deepen our level of service to AI teams at the world's leading tech and automotive companies."
With this investment, Samasource opened an AI Development Center in Montreal, Canada and a delivery center in Kampala, Uganda adding to its global presence in San Francisco, New York City, the Hague, Gulu, and Nairobi. To further build out its engineering department, Frederic Ratle joins the team in an inaugural position as head of AI research and development (R&D). With these expansions, Samasource provides full-time employment to more than 2,900 people and is one of the largest employers in East Africa. Samasource has also recently entered partnerships with Mila, an organization that rallies researchers specializing in the field of deep learning, and Partnership on AI, a multi-stakeholder consortium focused on establishing best practices for AI systems.
Using a combination of Samasource's leading annotation platform and a skilled workforce, Samasource trains data for computer vision and NLP use cases and provides content services and data enrichment solutions. Companies utilize the trained data sets provided by Samasource to propel their AI technology forward in industries such as automotive, consumer internet, e-commerce, robotics, biotech, AR/VR and more.
To learn more about Samasource, visit www.samasource.com.
Samasource is the trusted, high-quality training data and validation provider for 25% of the Fortune 50. From self-driving cars to smart hardware, Samasource fuels AI. Founded over a decade ago, we're experts in image, video and sensor data annotation and validation for machine learning algorithms. We support AI development in Autonomous Transportation, Media and Entertainment, E-commerce, Retail, Smart Hardware, and Biotech. Driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy, our social business model has helped over 50,000 people lift themselves out of poverty.
Contact: Emily Webb