Startup MindsDB Raises $16.5 Million To Power The AI Race In The Workplace

In 2017, Jorge Torres and Adam Carrigan, the company’s founders, launched MindsDB.

Even though Bill Gates recently stated that the current moment in technology is just as crucial as the introduction of the personal computer, the historic business benchmark in Silicon Valley is taking a more cautious view of the gold rush in artificial intelligence for the time being.
According to Forbes, partner Chetan Puttagunta says that the “great majority” of the firms that pitch to him claim to be working on machine learning, yet most of them haven’t been able to separate themselves from their many other rivals.

MindsDB is a business in the San Francisco Bay Area that helps software developers make AI apps, even if they don’t know much about AI.

Startup MindsDB Raises $16.5 Million To Power The AI Race In The Workplace
Startup MindsDB Raises $16.5 Million To Power The AI Race In The Workplace


It announced on Tuesday that it had received a $16.5 million Series A investment led by Benchmark and that Puttagunta had joined its board of directors.
According to the firm, this round was completed at a valuation of $56 million.

Jorge Torres, the cofounder and CEO of the company, believes that the time has come for artificial intelligence to revolutionise the commercial sector.
He told Forbes, “I think there’s going to be a rebirth of a new generation of apps developed with AI capabilities at the heart,” ranging from email to CRMs.

Traditionally, businesses have relied on their data teams to handle the time-consuming task of setting up connections between their business data (stored in databases) and machine learning technology, such as an application that detects fraud or predicts the health outcomes of patients. However, machine learning technology has made it possible for businesses to handle this task in-house, eliminating the need to rely on data teams.
MindsDB wants to put the AI technology right into the database so that developers can do the job themselves.
When Torres was a student at the Australian National University, he became friends with Adam Carrigan, who would later become the firm’s chief operating officer. Together, Torres and Carrigan started the company in 2017.
They first made MindsDB as a completely open-source project. In the second half of 2020, they will start to offer paid services.
It was included on the annual AI 50 list that Forbes compiles in 2021.

Even though engineers became more interested in MindsDB over time, the company rarely saw it as mission-critical.
According to Torres, there are perhaps 20 businesses that have paid for the premium version thus far.
It now needs to figure out how to commercialise, just like the majority of other firms that begin with open source.
According to Carrigan, the annualised income has not yet reached one million dollars.

We think that software developers will become the next generation of machine learning engineers, even if they don’t refer to themselves as such.

Jorge Torres, the current CEO of MindsDB,

However, Puttagunta believes that MindsDB is in a good position to profit as new AI models continue to flood the market. In particular, Puttagunta is referring to showy tools like GPT-3 that are available for everyone to test out.
It was one thing when skilled developers were saying, “We need to employ machine learning,” he adds. “Now, both their boss and the boss of their boss are saying, “I watched this fantastic demo.”
Isn’t it something that we ought to be doing?
It is no longer necessary for you to convince three layers above you that machine learning is a worthwhile technology.

Suddenly, data teams were unable to keep up with the necessary amount of work to connect various AI capabilities to their database, and as a result, they fell behind schedule.
To paraphrase what Puttagunta has to say about it, “It’s not like you can go employ a staff of 1,000 data scientists tomorrow if you’re a huge corporation.”
The creators of MindsDB believe their company can fill the need by circumventing the bottleneck by using the workforce they already have.
According to Torres, “we trust that developers will be the future machine learning engineers, even if they don’t call themselves machine learning engineers.”

Benchmark believes that MindsDB stands out in the crowded AI startup space due to the fact that it has more than 70 integrations between various databases and AI. These integrations include newly announced ones for open-source libraries such as Hugging Face’s and OpenAI offerings such as GPT-3 and DALL-E.
“They saw [the problem] earlier, and now the technology is just more sophisticated,” says Puttagunta, comparing MindsDB’s germinal years to the first five years of Amazon Web Services, when it quietly accumulated a product edge before cloud calculating attracted fan-fare. “They saw the issue earlier, and now the technology is just more advanced,” Puttagunta says.

In November of 2017, all parties came to an agreement over the fundraising. This coincided with the start of the company’s breakthrough moment for AI adoption.
According to Carrigan, the money injection is intended to drive efforts being made towards commercialization.
At the moment, MindsDB has a staff of 22, but they are working towards reaching 40 by the end of the year.
Carrigan alleges that the company is working covertly with some of the biggest names in business, including one of the top five banks and one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world: “They may have, say, 300 machine learning engineers, but 10,000 developers.”
Now, all of a sudden, those developers also have access to machine learning.

MindsDB also has the goal of enticing a new crop of AI-native firms that are smaller in scale to become its clients.
Torres recommended that they use Salesforce.
“I don’t want to mention that Salesforce will go out of business, but I promise that within the next year or two, there will be one hundred young generation working out of their garage with a method to customer relationship management (CRM) that is created from the bottom up with AI.”

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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