Clarifai Raises $30 Million Series B

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Leading Visual Recognition AI Startup to Drive Advancement of Powerful Machine Learning Tools, Making AI Accessible for Anyone

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Clarifai, the leading visual recognition AI company that uses sophisticated machine learning to understand images and videos, today announced the raise of a $30 million Series B round led by Menlo Ventures, with additional participation from existing investors including Union Square Ventures, Lux Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Osage University Partners, and others. Clarifai has raised $41.25 million in combined funding to date.

The new funding will be used to accelerate the expansion of Clarifai’s engineering and business teams, hire key research talent and continue rapid artificial intelligence innovation with new product releases. Clarifai is the foremost independent artificial intelligence and machine learning platform that can be used by any developer and business.

“Clarifai was built upon the belief that everyone should have the power to use artificial intelligence, regardless of their budget, infrastructure or skill level, in order to improve their products and our quality of life,” said Clarifai founder and CEO Matt Zeiler. “As an independent company, we have the unique ability to move quickly and innovate at a more consistent and rapid pace, all while solely focusing on leveraging data for each partner’s specific business needs. This new funding enables us to supercharge our innovation and continue our mission to create an AI platform that makes powerful AI tools available to the masses.”

“We're at the beginning of a long, exciting, and impactful era of innovation using AI,” said Matt Murphy, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures. “From day one, Clarifai has focused on the big vision of enabling anyone to unlock the power of AI. Matt and his team are uniquely positioned to deliver on this vision and Menlo Ventures is thrilled to be backing them.”

This funding news comes on the heels of Clarifai’s latest product releases: Custom Training and Visual Search. Custom Training puts the power to train artificial intelligence into everyone’s hands, allowing anyone to “teach” Clarifai’s visual recognition API new concepts in a matter of seconds regardless of their technical ability. Visual Search allows any user to easily organize, access, or recommend their images or products by visual similarity and/or keyword, enabling developers and businesses to better connect their users with what they’re looking for. This advanced technology, previously only available to large tech companies, is now available to anyone through the Clarifai API.

"Figuratively doubling down, and literally quadrupling down, is our strongest vote of confidence not only in Clarifai's execution to date and Zeiler's unabashed hunger to drive Clarifai as the leader in the emergent AI space - but also in our conviction that a stand-alone company needs to exist that democratizes AI outside the confines of the mainstay technorati,” said Lux Capital’s Zavain Dar.

To date, Clarifai has amassed a suite of clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to startups and small development teams, including Buzzfeed, Trivago, 500px, StyleMePretty, and many more. Clarifai’s visual recognition API recognizes more than 11,000 different concepts in photos and videos, and also provides domain-specific recognition tools, including the Not Safe For Work adult content moderation model, which can recognize potentially offensive nudity; the Travel model, which can recognize travel-related concepts like “hot tub,” “kids area,” and “indoor swimming pool;” and most recently, the Food model, which can recognize food images down to the ingredient level.

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About Clarifai
Clarifai is an artificial intelligence company that excels in visual recognition, solving real-world problems for businesses and developers alike. Founded in 2013 by Matthew Zeiler, a foremost expert in machine learning, Clarifai has been a market leader since winning the top five places in image classification at the ImageNet 2013 competition, and predicts more than 1.2 billion concepts in photos and videos every month. Clarifai’s powerful image and video recognition technology is built on the most advanced machine learning systems and made easily accessible by a clean API, empowering developers all over the world to build a new generation of intelligent applications.

About Menlo Ventures
Menlo Ventures provides capital for multi-stage consumer and enterprise technology companies. Since 1976, the firm's market-driven analysis has led to the identification of opportunities and successful investments in innovative technology markets. Notable areas of investment have included mobile/mobile marketplaces (Siri, Uber, Machine Zone, Roku,, Getaround, Munchery), social & ecommerce (Tumblr, Lumosity, Poshmark), Cloud (Carbonite, EdgeCast, Dropcam, Vidyo), storage & Big Data (3Par, Coraid, Tintri, Avere Systems), digital advertising (Flurry, YuMe, DataXu, Dstillery, eXelate), and security (Cavium, IronPort, nCircle, BitSight, vArmour). Menlo's portfolio includes more than 70 public companies and more than 100 mergers and acquisitions. Menlo Ventures has $4.65 billion under management and is currently investing Menlo Ventures XII, a $400 million fund with $15 million allocated to the Menlo Talent Fund for fast seed funding, and the Menlo Opportunity Fund, a $250 million fund that targets solely early growth investments.

About Lux Capital
Lux Capital is a venture firm based in New York City and Silicon Valley investing in counter-conventional, seed and early stage science and technology ventures. The firm manages $700 million in assets across four funds. For more information, please see Follow Lux on Twitter @Lux_Capital

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