MindsDB raises $16.5M to make machine learning and AI accessible to companies as the AI race heats up
Data is the lifeblood of every organization and databases are the containers to store the data, be it storing financial data, medical imaging, and employees, or just about any kind of mission-critical data. Although databases have evolved over the years, they still lack the capabilities required to build the next wave of AI-centered applications. Now, one open-source startup is aiming to give enterprise databases a brain.
Enter MindsDB, the world’s most widely-used open-source applied machine learning (ML) platform that merges the capabilities of databases with popular machine learning (ML) frameworks to radically simplify the process of applying machine learning to applications. In addition, MindsDB makes it easier for developers to use neural networks to gain predictive insights that allow companies to make better business decisions.
MindsDB was founded in 2017 by CEO Jorge Torres and COO Adam Carrigan and is backed with over $24 million in total funding from Benchmark, Walden Catalyst Ventures, YCombinator, OpenOcean, the venture fund launched by the creators of MySQL and MariaDB, SpeedInvest, and the University of California Berkeley SkyDeck fund. We covered MindsDB back in 2020 after it was named as one of the startups funded by Berkeley SkyDeck.
To further grow its platform, MindsDB announced today it has raised a $16.5M Series A investment from Benchmark. This new investment follows MindsDB’s latest integrations with Hugging Face and OpenAI, which allow anyone to easily bring state-of-the-art natural language processing and generative AI models into their database with only a few lines of SQL.
Using the past to predict the future
With Hugging Face, developers can access pre-trained NLP models and apply them to their own data for use cases such as advanced text classification, sentiment analysis, emotion detection, translation, and more. With the OpenAI integration, developers can customize to their data with the power of cutting-edge generative AI models including GPT-3, Codex, and DALL·E.
Benchmark is known to invest in, and work alongside, entrepreneurs building startups into transformational companies. The firm has also been recognized for its commitment to open source with investments including Confluent, Elastic, Cockroach Labs, Docker, Airbyte, Clickhouse, MySQL, TimeScaleDB, Red Hat, and many others. Benchmark General Partner Chetan Puttagunta is joining the board of directors, bringing his deep expertise and track record as an early investor and board member in open source leaders including Elastic, Mulesoft (acquired by Salesforce for $6.5B), and MongoDB.
“Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen important revolutions in the world of SaaS, from the rise of web applications to the growth of mobile apps. Now, it’s time for the next revolution in the world of technology: the reinvention of all the systems we use on a daily basis, like email, calendars, CRMs, ERPs, CMSs, telehealth, office documents, etc, all with AI capacities at their core,” said Jorge Torres, Co-Founder and CEO of MindsDB. “This reality is rapidly changing the way we interact with technology and with MindsDB, developers can rapidly create the next wave of AI-centered applications that will transform the way we live and work.”
In just four years after its inception, MindsDB has become one of the fastest-growing developer platforms. The startup now has more than 13,000 GitHub Stars and 70+ technology and data integrations.
“Today, there’s tremendous interest in the developer community to implement and integrate machine learning into their applications, but the process is complicated and expensive,” said Chetan Puttagunta, general partner at Benchmark. “MindsDB is enabling developers from small startups to the biggest enterprises in the world by enabling developers to quickly and efficiently run ML models of their choosing with the database of their choosing. This approach has already made MindsDB the de facto choice for developers, and I’m thrilled to work alongside Jorge and Adam, and the rest of the MindsDB team.”