30
May
2019
/
Lukas Biewald, CEO of Weights & Biases

W&B Raises $15 Million for Deep Learning Experiment Tracking

We’re excited to announce that Weights and Biases has raised an additional round of $15 million, led by Coatue.

We started Weights and Biases because we want to build great tools for machine learning practitioners.  It’s been less than a year since we quietly launched our first tool, the wandb experiment tracker, and today we are also excited to announce that this tool has tracked nearly a million experiments so far, for thousands of deep learning practitioners.  Our users tell us that with our tool they are able to quickly visualize their models’ performance, collaborate more effectively, and replicate past experiments.


We are dedicated to making wandb incredibly powerful and a pleasure to use.  We also want to make it easy for anyone who wants to visualize and save their experiments to start using it.  This investment helps us on both fronts - we plan to thoughtfully expand our product and engineering teams, and will also begin building out our sales and marketing functions.

I’ve seen firsthand how venture capital can sometimes hurt a business, when interests are not aligned.  But I’ve also seen firsthand how venture capital can dramatically accelerate a working business.  In this round, we were in the rare and lucky situation of not needing the money and we were able to pick a partner completely aligned with our mission.

Across the platform, Coatue has a strong thesis and a prepared mind on the transformational value of data science, AI and ML. They have broad investments in the category, from chips (Cerebras) to platforms (Weights & Biases, Domino Data Labs, Databricks) to applications. Not only that, they are deeply invested in data science and AI as a firm. Another thing that sets Yanda Erlich, who led the deal on behalf of Coatue, apart is that he shares our love for builders and building things.  He took one of our weekend Introduction to Deep Learning workshops and built one of the highest performing models in the class.  Afterwards he bought an Nvidia 1080 and built himself a deep learning machine to train models.  I told him not to upgrade to the latest version CUDA, but he couldn’t help himself.  Most venture capitalists will tell you they love technology - and maybe they do - but Yanda is the only one I know who will spend 12 hours trying to get his ubuntu machine to work with his external monitor with an unnecessarily cutting-edge version of CUDA.

We are grateful to have, alongside Coatue, a large set of investors from our seed round who also deeply believe in our mission.  I’m especially excited that over half of our investors have actually used our tool - and many of them were customers before they invested.

Other investors (in this and previous rounds):

Trinity, the first institutional investor in CrowdFlower and the leader of our seed round.

Bloomberg Beta, a fund making some of the most interesting investments in data and AI.  James Cham and Roy Bahat are two of the most helpful people you will meet and they are also wandb users.

Richard Socher, CSO of Salesforce.

Pieter Abbeel, Berkeley roboticist and entrepreneur who saw our product through our collaboration with OpenAI.

Jeff Hammerbacher, Cloudera founder now running Hammer Lab.

John Le and Greg Laughlin, two of my early employees at CrowdFlower, who went on to found StatWing which sold to Qualtrics.

Tim Converse, my old boss at Powerset, now head of applied machine learning at Adobe.

Daniel Gross, founder of Pioneer and AI grant and Cue.

Peter Skomoroch, founder of SkipFlag and wandb user.

Lee Redden, founder of Blue River and wandb user.

Anthony Goldbloom, founder of Kaggle.

Filip Wolski, Peter Welinder, Jonas Schneider, researchers at OpenAI who have had a chance to use our product first hand.

Ed Roman, Managing Director of hack vc and wandb user who took one of my deep learning classes.

Stuart Bowers, VP of Engineering at Tesla.  Another wandb user (for personal projects, not Tesla)

Nat Friedman, CEO of Github.  Founder of AI grant

Joe Greenstein - Founder of Leaders in Tech, Flixster

Rachel Sheinbein - Active angel investor

Scott Prevost - VP Engineering at Adobe

Lorenzo Thione - Founder of Powerset, The Social Edge and Start Out

Ron Croen - Founder of Nuance, Partner at You and Mr. Jones

Ed Zimmerman - Founder of Venture Crush

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