LONDON, November 28, 2022 – Today V7, the data engine to build and improve AI for computer vision, announced its $33m Series A financing co-led by AI-focused Radical Ventures and Temasek, with participation from existing investors Air Street Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Partech. This represents the largest Series A funding round in its category by more than double, and will allow V7’s further expansion into the US market, growing its team in its biggest market.
Machine learning-powered computer vision models are helping tackle a range of challenges facing society today, from spotting cancers to robotic farming. But when building an ML system, 80% of a team's time is spent managing training data. This is a slow process that helps refine and augment the “knowledge” that models have learned by having humans perform laborious, manual labeling tasks.
V7 automates the labeling process, allowing companies to solve data labeling tasks ten times more quickly. The company’s unique “programmatic labeling” workflows use AI models and minimal human steering to apply labels to data at scale. The product comes with general-purpose AI models built in, which automatically segments objects in images and video, acting as a co-pilot for human annotators. After about 100 human-guided examples, V7’s platform can start identifying objects at scale on “autopilot”, routing edge-cases it doesn’t yet understand to human reviewers.
V7’s growth trajectory is unabated despite a macroeconomic downturn. In 2022, the business grew ARR by 3x, organic traffic to the V7 website increased by 100x and the team grew headcount by 5x to meet significant market demand for the product. With 300+ clients including GE Healthcare, Paige AI, and Siemens, V7’s customers are deploying AI technology to support faster release of AI models in mission-critical applications. These range from major technological breakthroughs like end-to-end autonomous driving and sorting nuclear waste through robotic arms, to potentially life saving applications like early cancer detection.
“The next generation of software won’t run on code, it will run on models fueled by training data. We let our clients easily turn human knowledge into AI models, improving the safety and accuracy of AI. This is incredibly powerful, and in the right hands, can literally save lives. If we want to build software that tackles unsolved frontiers in human health, or our climate, this is the only way”, said CEO Alberto Rizzoli
AI-focused Radical Ventures and Temasek co-led the $33 million Series A round alongside Nathan Benaich’s Air Street Capital, Amadeus Capital, and Partech. The funding round also included participation from machine learning pioneers Francois Chollet (Keras creator), Oriol Vinyals (DeepMind), Jose Valim (Elixir creator), and Ashish Vaswani, who co-created Transformer models while at Google Brain.
“As data proliferation continues, intelligent data orchestration is essential for businesses looking to deploy machine learning models,” said Parasvil Patel, a Partner with Radical Ventures who joins the board of V7. “V7 is well-positioned to become the industry-standard for managing data in modern AI workflows.”
“The number of problems that are now solvable with AI is vast and growing quickly. As businesses of all sizes race to capture these opportunities, they need best-in-class data and model infrastructure to deliver outstanding products that continuously improve and adapt to real-world needs. This is where V7’s AI Data Engine shines – no matter the sector or application, customers rely on V7 to ship robust AI-first products faster than ever before. V7 packages the industry’s rapidly evolving best practices into multiplayer workflows from data to model to product” said Air Street’s Capital’s Nathan Benaich.
“Computer vision is being deployed at scale across industries, delivering innovation and breakthroughs, and a fast growing $50bn market. Our thesis for V7 is that the breadth of applications, and the speed at which new products are expected to be launched in the market, call for a centralised platform that connects AI models, code, and humans in a looped ecosystem. They are totally smashing it” said Pierre Socha, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners
V7 is led by Alberto Rizzoli and Simon Edwardsson, two-time co-founders who brought with them a team of machine learning engineers and researchers from Google, Graphcore, Onfido, Entrepreneur First, Tractable and more. Within half a year of implementing V7, customers report 33% faster release of models and 25% reduction in errors on average. The platform now handles over 1 petabyte of AI training data, making it one of the largest libraries of human knowledge applied to images spanning radiology, engineering, and biopharma in existence.
The founders previously founded Aipoly, a computer vision app that helped the blind to understand their surroundings by recognising and audibly describing objects from a mobile phone. Aipoly won the CES Best of Innovation Award two years running (2017/18) and was the world’s first commercial use of a convolutional neural network for object recognition running in real-time on an iPhone.
About Radical Ventures
Radical Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in people applying artificial intelligence to shape the future of how we live, work and play. From healthcare and financial services to infrastructure and manufacturing, Radical partners with entrepreneurs who understand the transformational power of AI. Learn more at www.radical.vc.
Temasek is an investment company with a net portfolio value of S$403 billion (US$297b, €268b, £227b, RMB1.89t) as of 31 March 2022. Headquartered in Singapore, we have 12 offices in 8 countries around the world. Our Purpose “So Every Generation Prospers” guides us to make a difference for today’s and future generations. Our Temasek Charter defines our three roles as an Investor, Institution and Steward, and shapes our ethos to do well, do right and do good. Sustainability is at the core of all that we do. We are committed to catalyzing solutions to global challenges and activating capital – financial, human, social and natural – to bring about a better and more inclusive world for all. For more information on Temasek, please visit www.temasek.com.sg.
About Air Street Capital
Air Street Capital is a venture capital firm investing in AI-first technology and life science companies. We work with entrepreneurs across Europe and the US from the very beginning of their journey in building AI-first companies. Our portfolio includes Allcyte (acq. Exscientia), Intenseye, Modern Intelligence, V7, Valence Discovery, and. Learn more with our monthly industry analysis newsletter, https://newsletter.airstreet.com/, our annual report, https://www.stateof.ai/, and on https://www.airstreet.com/.
About Amadeus Capital Partners
Amadeus Capital Partners is a global technology investor. Since 1997, the firm has raised over $1bn for investment and used it to back 185 companies. With vast experience and a global network, Amadeus’ team of investors and entrepreneurs share a passion for the transformative power of technology. Pioneering businesses we’ve backed include cyber security vendor ForeScout (NASDAQ:FSCT); Graphcore, innovators in intelligent microprocessors; IVF genetic testing company, Igenomix, and speech recognition company VocalIQ (acquired by Apple). Find us at https://amadeuscapital.com and @AmadeusCapital.
With a portfolio of almost 180 companies spread across 30 countries in Europe, the US, Africa, and Asia, Partech has been one of the leading international investors helping visionary founders for almost 40 years. The Partech team – made up of both former entrepreneurs and executives from 15 different countries – brings capital, experience, strategic support, and networks to entrepreneurs at every stage of development: seed, venture, and growth. With over €1.5B under management, Partech invests from €200K to €50M in B2B and B2C technologies reshaping industries. Companies backed by Partech have completed more than 21 IPOs and more than 50 strategic M&A transactions valued over $100M. For more information: www.partechpartners.com.