Samasource, a Nairobi and San Francisco-based AI training provider, has raised $14.8M million Series A funding round to scale its engineering, sales and marketing efforts.
The firm has also opened an AI Development Center in Montreal, Canada and a delivery center in Kampala, Uganda adding to it’s operations in San Francisco, New York City, the Hague, Gulu, and Nairobi.
Samasource, which employs more than 2,900 people, will use the funding 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 its Fortune 50 companies such as Microsoft, Walmart, Continental.
The round of funding was 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.”
Recently, Samasource partnered 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.
“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 funding and partnerships, companies will be able to 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.
AI expert Frederic Ratle has also joined SamaSource in an inaugural position as head of AI research and development (R&D).