Spice AI | September 08, 2022
Spice AI today announced a seed round of $13.5 million for its platform that enables developers to build data driven applications for Web3. Madrona led the round with Australia based Blackbird Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Alumni Ventures Blockchain Fund, Joe McCann’s new Asymmetric fund, Protocol Labs, IEX Fund, and other strategic angel investors participating, including Thomas Dohmke, CEO of GitHub, who is also joining the board.
“Spice AI is building a developer first platform to create AI/ML-driven applications that harness time series data – a valuable yet difficult to harness data set for any organization. There is no ecosystem out there that is more data rich than Web3 and blockchains, but that area is currently hampered by lack of data access and infrastructure. Solving the data problem in Web3 requires deep domain knowledge and Spice AI is building the infrastructure, so developers do not have to deal with the complexity of building it themselves. Now is the time to build for Web3 and we are excited to be well capitalized to grow the team and address this gap in the market,” said Luke Kim, CEO of Spice AI.
Web3 and Spice AI
While most blockchains are public and open, extracting data from them to power apps and ML is painfully difficult. To get meaningful quantities of useful data, developers are forced to build and operate a massively complex infrastructure which includes blockchain nodes, big data systems, ETL and ML pipelines, data lakes, data warehouses, and query systems. Going one step further, developers must deeply understand the various data sources including virtual-machine logs, and the inner workings and state of smart contracts, across a broad array of blockchains, scaling layers, and dApps.
Spice.xyz, brings this together in a platform that enables developers to access web3 data across chains via SQL over high-performance Apache Arrow APIs. The platform is available in Preview today with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Name Service (ENS) datasets with work in progress to launch Solana and Polygon.
“Madrona has invested in machine learning infrastructure and intelligent applications for almost a decade. We see a massive opportunity for Spice AI to provide a developer-first framework and intelligent data sets that unlock insights in blockchain data and enable developers to create intelligent distributed Web3 applications. As part of the financing, Porter will join the Spice AI board along with Thomas Dohmke.
Tim Porter, Managing Director at Madrona
Deeply Developer Focused Founders
Over the last 15 years, co-founder Luke Kim has brought together the best builders and engineers across the globe to create developer focused experiences through tools and technologies used by millions worldwide. Before founding Spice AI, Luke was the founding manager and co-creator of Azure Incubations at Microsoft where he led cross-functional engineering teams to create and develop technologies like Dapr.
Co-founder Phillip LeBlanc has spent a decade building some of the largest distributed systems and big data platforms used by millions worldwide. Before co-founding Spice AI, Phillip was both an engineering manager and IC working on distributed systems at GitHub and Microsoft. Phillip has contributed to services developers use every day including GitHub Actions, Azure Active Directory and Visual Studio App Center.
“Spice AI is building the foundational platform for Web3, so developers do not have to invest in standing up their own infrastructure and in data engineering that is complex and costly, and frankly, hard to get right. Delivering real time insights from time-series data across chains powers intelligent applications being built for a wide range of industries – from addressing buying patterns in e-tail/retail all the way to fraud detection and securities trading. Since our pre-seed investment, the team continues to impress us with the focus and pace of innovation as they build this infrastructure for Web3,” added Aseem Datar, Partner at Madrona.
Spice AI is building an office in greater Seattle with a footprint in Asia and Australia. Check out the positions here - spice.ai/careers
About Spice AI
Founded in June 2021 by Luke Kim and Phillip LeBlanc, Spice AI creates technology to help developers build intelligent apps that learn and adapt. The company has raised 14.5 million in funding since 2021 and is backed by leading venture and angel investors.
Equifax | July 08, 2022
Today, Equifax® announced that applications are open for its second annual developer challenge and accelerator program in partnership with 1871, a Chicago-based business incubator that supports early stage tech start-ups, growth stage tech leaders and corporate innovators. Following the success of the inaugural Equifax Accelerate in 2021, Equifax is continuing the program to challenge U.S.-based software developers to create transformative solutions designed to foster financial inclusion and improve access to services with the powerful suite of Equifax Cloud™-enabled Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
"Data, analytics and technology provide a powerful force in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the world around us. "Equifax is committed to accelerating innovation across the developer ecosystem to bring more consumers into the mainstream credit economy. We look forward to working with the 2022 Equifax Accelerate program cohorts in building data-driven solutions that help tackle the challenges of consumer financial inclusion and small business access to capital."
Bryson Koehler, Chief Product, Data & Analytics and Technology Officer at Equifax
Equifax Accelerate program participants will have simplified access to data assets and API products so that developers can easily explore and access technical documentation, create apps, experiment, and innovate faster than ever before. These data assets will include APIs available from the Equifax for Developers API Portal as well as data assets available on AWS Data Exchange and Snowflake Data Marketplace.
"In our data-driven world, it's never been more important for businesses to have access to the technological resources and mentorship they need to thrive," said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. "We're proud to work side-by-side with Equifax to continue to expand the Equifax Accelerate product studio, which empowers the innovators and leaders that are disrupting their industries with new and necessary solutions."
The top 50 2022 Equifax Accelerate entries will be accepted into a Design Sprint Challenge in August. All Design Sprint Challenge participants will receive mentorship from both Equifax and 1871 subject matter experts to assist in the creation of prototype solutions. They will also compete for a chance to access the 12-week Product Studio, a custom accelerator program powered by Equifax and 1871.
This year's Design Sprint Challenge will be judged by Equifax executive leadership and a panel of experts, including: Noah Schwartz, General Manager, AWS Data Exchange at Amazon Web Services (AWS); Amit Maheshwari, Senior Vice President, Business Development at Tekion Corp.; and Laura Ritz, Chief Operating Officer at numo, a PNC company.
Participants chosen by the panel of judges to participate in the Product Studio will receive unlimited access to all 1871 products and services, including dozens of workshops, 300+ mentors, and 400+ other tech founders from idea stage companies to series C+. They will also have an opportunity to present their prototype to an audience of leaders from Equifax, including digital and fintech partners, at the Product Showcase. Qualifying participants will also be eligible for up to $5,000 in AWS Activate credits, which can be applied to more than 200 AWS services.
ABOUT EQUIFAX INC.
At Equifax , we believe knowledge drives progress. As a global data, analytics, and technology company, we play an essential role in the global economy by helping financial institutions, companies, employers, and government agencies make critical decisions with greater confidence. Our unique blend of differentiated data, analytics, and cloud technology drives insights to power decisions to move people forward. Headquartered in Atlanta and supported by more than 13,000 employees worldwide, Equifax operates or has investments in 25 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region.
Salesforce | August 29, 2022
Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, today announced that Forrester has recognized MuleSoft as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q3 2022. The report can be accessed at https://www.mulesoft.com/lp/reports/forrester-wave-apim.
MuleSoft was recognized as a leader in this API Management report. According to the report, MuleSoft "delivers API engagement with a strong developer experience" and "provides highly engaging portals and tools to connect with API consumers."
Businesses see continued growth and efficiency with API management because it offers flexible and scalable digital experiences that empower customers through integration, automation, security and governance. However, the Connectivity Benchmark Report shows that integration challenges continue to slow digital transformation initiatives for 88% of organizations.
"The speed at which companies can accelerate their digital transformation efforts is entirely dependent on their ability to seamlessly integrate and connect their data. "We believe that API-led connectivity enables our customers to securely unlock and integrate their data and apps to deliver new levels of speed, productivity and efficiency."
Shaun Clowes, chief product officer, MuleSoft
The report, authored by Forrester Senior Analyst David Mooter says, "Good API strategy and design are a key foundation for digital transformation. By opening access to digital business capabilities, APIs drive agility to optimize customer experiences, create dynamic digital ecosystems, achieve operational excellence, and build platform business models."
Access to data and the ability to compose applications is critical to delivering seamless digital experiences and meeting key business priorities such as revenue growth and speed to market. With Universal API Management, MuleSoft is extending our leading API Management platform to support any API and service used in the enterprise. This helps users find, reuse, and manage existing assets, thereby increasing their value. Customers can go faster with a single pane of glass for governance, security and adoption, both with internal and external users.
Salesforce, the global CRM leader, empowers companies of every size and industry to digitally transform and create a 360° view of their customers.
AI TECH,GENERAL AI
Run:ai | September 22, 2022
Run:ai, the leader in compute orchestration for AI workloads, today announced that its Atlas Platform is certified to run NVIDIA AI Enterprise, an end-to-end, cloud-native suite of AI and data analytics software that is optimized to enable any organization to use AI.
"The certification of Run:AI Atlas for NVIDIA AI Enterprise will help data scientists run their AI workloads most efficiently. "Our mission is to speed up AI and get more models into production, and NVIDIA has been working closely with us to help achieve that goal."
Omri Geller, CEO and co-founder of Run:ai
With many companies now operating advanced machine learning technology and running bigger models on more hardware, demand for AI computing chips continues to grow. GPUs are indispensable for running AI applications, and companies are turning to software to reap the most benefit from their AI infrastructure and get models to market faster.
The Run:ai Atlas Platform uses a smart Kubernetes Scheduler and software-based Fractional GPU technology to provide AI practitioners seamless access to multiple GPUs, multiple GPU nodes, or fractions of a single GPU. This enables teams to match the right amount of computing power to the needs of every AI workload, so they can get more done on the same chips. With these capabilities, Run:ai's Atlas Platform lets enterprises maximize the efficiency of their infrastructure, avoiding a scenario where GPUs sit idle or use only a small amount of their power.
"Enterprises across industries are turning to AI to power the breakthroughs that will help improve customer service, boost sales and optimize operations," said Justin Boitano, vice president of enterprise and edge computing at NVIDIA. "Run:ai's certification for NVIDIA AI Enterprise provides customers with an integrated, cloud-native platform for deploying AI workflows with MLOps management capabilities."
Run:ai creates fractional GPUs as virtual ones within available GPU framebuffer memory and compute space. These fractional GPUs can be accessed by containers, enabling different workloads to run in these containers — in parallel and on the same GPU. Run:ai works well on VMware vSphere and bare metal servers, and supports various distributions of Kubernetes.
This certification is the latest in a series of Run:ai's collaborations with NVIDIA. In March, Run:ai completed a proof of concept which enabled multi-cloud GPU flexibility for companies using NVIDIA GPUs in the cloud. This was followed by the company fully integrating NVIDIA Triton Inference Server. And in June, Run:ai worked with Weights & Biases and NVIDIA to gain access to NVIDIA-accelerated computing resources orchestrated by Run:ai's Atlas Platform.
Run:ai's Atlas Platform brings cloud-like simplicity to AI resource management - providing researchers with on-demand access to pooled resources for any AI workload. An innovative cloud-native operating system - which includes a workload-aware scheduler and an abstraction layer - helps IT simplify AI implementation, increase team productivity, and gain full utilization of expensive GPUs. Using Run:ai, companies streamline development, management, and scaling of AI applications across any infrastructure, including on-premises, edge and cloud.