Labelbox raises $25 million to grow its data-labeling platform for AI model training

Labelbox today announced the close of a $25 million series B funding round to grow its data-labeling platform that supplies customers with the labeled data needed to train AI systems.

The funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Google’s AI-focused fund Gradient Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and First Round Capital.

The funding will be used to develop and accelerate the Labelbox roadmap for machine learning and computer vision models by doubling the size of its engineering and sales teams.

Labelbox also enables users to automate some labeling so a company can manually label all data except data that falls below a particular prediction confidence threshold, COO Brian Reiger told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

The funding will also be used to codify best practices and standard metrics for model performance among data scientists, developers, data engineers in part by working with university and business partners.

“What happens today very often is that folks come out of the academic institutions, and they’ve kind of got that academic side of machine learning but they haven’t experienced the process of taking a production system from nothing into production and there are some common technologies, common formulas that need to be developed and understood amongst the community. So that’s formats, that’s tooling, that’s methods and processes,” he said. 

Among standardization Labelbox seeks: Common data exchange file formats and the need for roles within organizations like data-labeling operations manager to accelerate AI deployment and advance company business goals.

“Labeling operations manager is this role that’s never been defined before globally but exists within many of the companies we work with,” Reiger said.

Other data annotation startups that raised funding recently include CloudFactory and Alegion.

Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andy Levine will join the Labelbox board as part of the deal.

With funding announced today the company has raised $39 million to date including a $10 million Series A in April 2019.

Labelbox is based in San Francisco and has 30 employees today. Labelbox was founded in April 2018.

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