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Former Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia and Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold Bet on Pinecone

Pinecone Systems Inc., a machine learning (ML) and search infrastructure company, announced that two former CEOs, Bob Muglia (Snowflake) and Bob Wiederhold (Couchbase) joined the company as investors and advisors and are working closely with the company’s Founder & CEO, Edo Liberty, to scale the business.

Complex data such as unstructured text documents, call and video transcripts, customer histories, images, and audio is growing. Companies need to search through this data in order to power their search, personalization, and security applications. Yet they struggle to do so, because they are stuck with tooling and infrastructure that was designed for more simple, structured text data.

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Companies are increasingly turning to ML representations of complex data, called vector embeddings, to enable searching through that data by semantic meaning. This approach is incompatible with existing databases, and requires a new kind of database that supports vector search at scale. While a handful of hyperscalers have already implemented the technology, most companies don’t have the time or resources to build and maintain the necessary infrastructure. Pinecone has built a vector database that makes it easy for everyone else to leverage this state-of-the-art method of searching through complex data.

An enterprise software executive and the former CEO of data warehousing giant, Snowflake, Bob Muglia led the company to five years of unprecedented growth and raised hundreds of millions in funding. Prior to Snowflake he served as one of four Division Presidents at Microsoft managing more than 20% of the company’s revenue including server products & cloud services.

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“Complex data such as images and video are a potential goldmine of business insight. People can intuitively understand the contents of an image but until the advent of advanced analytics and machine learning, these contents have been opaque to business systems.   That has now changed but this requires a new kind of infrastructure that intersects databases and AI” said Bob Muglia. “Pinecone is an innovator and early mover in this space. I believe what they are building is cutting edge today but will become a well-understood standard in this decade.”

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Bob Wiederhold has more than 25 years of high tech experience, having previously served as CEO of Couchbase, a leader in NoSQL databases, and then its Executive Chairman. From 2002 to 2009, Bob was Chairman and CEO of Transitive, the worldwide leader in cross platform virtualization with over 20M users, where during his tenure the company was acquired by IBM. Until 2001, Bob served as CEO of Tality Corporation, the worldwide leader in electronic design services whose revenues grew to over $200M.

“Hyperscalers such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon invested years in incorporating vector databases and vector search into their applications. They are already seeing improved business outcomes” said Bob Wiederhold. “The majority of the tech world has either not realized it yet or is struggling to catch up. I’m excited to work with Pinecone on bringing this technology to companies who may lack the time, capital, or bandwidth to build such infrastructures in house.”

Bob Wiederhold and Bob Muglia are the best people in the world to help us scale Pinecone,” said Edo Liberty. “Their experiences in shipping delightful products and building great companies map almost exactly to the journey ahead of us. They have already made a huge impact on Pinecone and will undoubtedly continue to do so.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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