Not a day goes by without news headlines on artificial intelligence (AI). AI technology is changing the way we live. However, AI algorithms heavily depend on large volume of data. The large data set is of no use to AI unless the data is first labeled by human annotators. So, data annotation (also referred to as data labeling) is critical for the scalability of AI and machine learning projects. This symbiotic relationship between humans and AI creates new opportunities and gives rise to a new category of startups. One of the leading startups in this space is CloudFactory.
With offices in four continents, CloudFactory is a distributed workforce startup for automating business processes involving large volumes of data entry, collection or processing for artificial intelligence companies. Its managed teams have experience with 150+ AI projects and can process data with high accuracy using virtually any tool. CloudFactory is used by 130+ companies. The company also annotates data for 11 of the world’s top autonomous vehicle companies and process millions of tasks a day for innovators including Microsoft, Drive.ai, Ibotta and nuTonomy. CloudFactory have offices in the U.K., U.S., Nepal and Kenya.
Today, CloudFactory announced it has secured $65 million in growth equity funding led by FTV Capital, with participation from Weatherford Capital. The investment marks an exciting milestone in CloudFactory’s mission of providing meaningful work for one million people as the company seeks to scale operations while continuing to deliver high-quality data work for its global customers. CloudFactory was founded in 2010 by Mark Sears and Tom Puskarich. In just nine years, CloudFactory grew from a small-time data prep solutions company to a company with footprints in four continents. CloudFactory launched its beta at Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on September 12th, 2011 after 20 months of development.
“As AI technology continues to grow rapidly, the need for high-quality data to feed complex AI systems is crucial,” said Alex Mason, FTV Capital partner. “CloudFactory is poised for tremendous growth across many industry verticals where executives are clamoring for data labeling capabilities that meet superior quality standards and are consistently delivered. We are excited to partner with CloudFactory’s proven management team who have the unique vision and exemplary execution skills to achieve their business goals and successfully fulfill their mission.”
AI and machine learning continue to advance, yet many AI disruptors lack the ability to process and label the voluminous amount of data required to feed complex AI and machine learning algorithms. CloudFactory’s WorkStreams combine people and technology to deliver high-quality data to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, from resource-strapped startups to large enterprises.
To perform this work, CloudFactory employs a tech-forward, managed workforce that provides workers in the developing world with opportunities to connect to the digital economy while empowering them as leaders in their families and communities. Delivery centers in Nepal and Kenya have become anchors within their communities that drive economic and social impact. The workforce has been trained on and uses over 100 different annotation tools – including proprietary tools and those available through CloudFactory’s partnerships with technology providers such as Hivemind, Onepanel, Deepen and Dataloop – in a way that results in the highest quality data delivered for a wide variety of uses.