- It will use the latest round of funding to drive international workforce expansion, sustain and expand contributions to the open-source data science software ecosystem
- It said that this is the largest single Series B funding round for an open-source infrastructure software company to date
Data analytics startup Zilliz closed its latest Series B funding round with a $43 million investment led by Hillhouse Capital. Additional investors include TrustBridge Capital, Pavillion Capital, as well as continued participation from existing investors 5Y Capital (formerly Morningside Venture Capital) and Yunqi Partners. It said that this is the largest single Series B funding round for an open-source infrastructure software company to date.
Zilliz has raised over $53 million since its 2017 launch. It will use the latest round of funding to drive international workforce expansion, sustain and expand contributions to the open-source data science software ecosystem, advance development of enterprise-grade cloud services, and speed up global adoption of AI-powered technology for unstructured data processing and analysis.
Heterogeneous computing and artificial intelligence
Charles Xie, founder and CEO of Zilliz said, “Unstructured data accounts for roughly 80% of all data, but only one per cent gets analysed due to processing complexities. Structured data, such as numerical values and text, has been efficiently handled by computers for decades. Unstructured data, things like images, videos, user behaviour, chemical structures, and gene sequences, is far more ubiquitous. However, few tools are available to extract meaning from it. As digital transformation accelerates, unlocking the value of unstructured data will become progressively more essential. Our overarching goal at Zilliz is to utilise technology like heterogeneous computing and artificial intelligence to give people access to previously inaccessible insights.”
Xie continued, “Unstructured data processing and analysis has been pivotal to growing adoption of artificial intelligence worldwide, and we are committed to sustained investment in this space. We’ve found building software under the open-source model has eliminated national boundaries, brought a powerful network effect, and made analyzing unstructured data easier and more accessible for developers everywhere. Beginning late 2021, Zilliz will provide public, cloud-based unstructured data services that emphasize security, reliability, ease of use, and affordability.”
Open-source, AI-powered unstructured data
The company specialises in the development of open-source, AI-powered unstructured data analysis software, and is the initiator and primary contributor to the vector similarity search project Milvus. Milvus was released under an open-source license in October, 2019. It has been “starred” over 4,400 times on GitHub and engaged 120+ contributors. The company said that Milvus has been adopted by 400+ enterprise users, with applications spanning image processing, computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, recommendation engines, search engines, new drug development, gene analysis.
Liming Huang, investment director, technology sector at Hillhouse Capital said, “How humans interact with each other, and our environments, is too complex to be represented by structured data. Hillhouse firmly believes leveraging embeddings similarity search to analyze massive unstructured datasets is the key to solving existing big data challenges. With Charles at the helm, Zilliz is building versatile applications that are a huge boon to the open-source data science software space and represent the future of data search.”