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Snorkel AI Raises $85 Million at $1 Billion Valuation for Data-Centric AI

Snorkel AI, a data-centric AI platform company powered by programmatic data labeling,  announced $85 million in Series C funding, bringing the total funding raised to $135 million.

Snorkel AI is now valued at $1 billion, making it one of the few companies in the AI industry to reach a billion-dollar valuation in two years. The new round was co-led by Addition, a new investor in Snorkel AI, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, a previous investor. Other previous investors Greylock, GV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nepenthe Capital and Walden also participated.

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BlackRock Managing Director Tony Kim said: “Snorkel AI is addressing one of the most challenging and time-consuming bottlenecks in AI–the need for massive labeled datasets–with the industry’s first data-centric AI platform. With Snorkel Flow, enterprise customers have been able to develop and deploy AI applications in hours or days, versus months, leading to significant ROI.”

Addition Founder Lee Fixel said: “By putting data at the center of the process, Snorkel AI is transforming how AI is developed. Businesses are starting to understand that, when it comes to AI projects, data very often makes the difference between success or failure. With their pioneering approach, the Snorkel team has been leading this shift towards data-centric AI and is well positioned to help a new wave of enterprises realize value from modern AI technologies.”

Machine learning models have largely been commoditized for most enterprise use cases today. Success or failure of AI projects hinges on the labeled data used to train these models. In spite of spending huge amounts of time and resources on manually labeling data, organizations end up with small, static and often low-quality datasets. Practitioners are often forced to focus on the model alone. This model-centric approach fails to deliver production quality performance and adapt easily to changing data.

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Snorkel AI, founded in 2019 by a team spun out of the Stanford AI Lab, is leading the shift in focus of AI practitioners from model-centric to a data-centric approach. Snorkel AI is the only company that enables organizations to build AI applications with programmatic data labeling, eliminating the need to hand label data which is notoriously expensive and inefficient. Among Snorkel AI’s customers are some of the world’s biggest brands including Fortune 50 companies as well as US government agencies.

The company’s flagship product, Snorkel Flow, is the first data-centric AI platform that makes it feasible for data scientists and non-technical experts to build applications by programmatically labeling the data. In Snorkel Flow, users can label and manage data using code, train models and identify model error modes to iteratively improve them in a rapid, data-centric workflow, using both SDK and no-code interfaces. This shortens the development cycle and improves application quality significantly while being able to manage bias or any deterioration in production performance.

With Snorkel Flow, organizations have achieved state-of-the-art machine learning model accuracy and reduced development time to days as opposed to months. For example, a top 3 US bank used Snorkel Flow to develop a contract processing application with more than 99% accuracy in less than 24 hours.

The new funding will enable Snorkel AI to bring the transformative impact of data-centric AI to more enterprises around the world. The company plans to continue scaling its world-class engineering team, which includes engineers from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and NVIDIA, so that it can continue to aggressively innovate for customers around the world, as well as its go-to-market team to drive successful AI adoption.

“We’re incredibly excited by the value Snorkel Flow has driven for our enterprise customers by enabling them to adopt a programmatic, data-centric approach to AI, taking projects previously blocked on the data to production value in days. This new Series C funding will enable us to accelerate the pace of our product development even further and to bring Snorkel Flow to even more domains and use cases,” said Alex Ratner, co-founder and CEO of Snorkel AI.

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