London-based Klu, a startup that provides a platform for building and optimising AI-powered applications, announced that it has raised €1.6M in a pre-seed round of funding.
The round was led by Firstminute Capital, with participation from a16z, Sequoia Capital, Craft Ventures, and Atomico, alongside angel investors from Superhuman, IBM, Productboard, and other leading technology companies.
Klu’s platform lets companies quickly go from idea to production with large language model (LLM)-powered features. It offers integrated products that streamline the development, testing, and deployment process of AI applications.
The new funding will fuel Klu’s mission to power the rapid emergence of dedicated AI engineers and teams across organisations.
“We are just getting started on our mission to empower every company to build their AI moat through proprietary models and data flywheel. Klu provides the AI backbone to usher in this next era of intelligent software experiences,” says Klu CEO Stephen M. Walker II.
Walker and Stefan Sabev co-founded Klu in 2022. Since launching its closed beta in March, the platform has grown rapidly, serving over 500,000 requests weekly with an impressive ten per cent average weekly growth rate.
The company has offices in London and San Francisco, and predominantly serves B2B SaaS companies. Klu’s customers include Colab, Zavvy, and Productlane.
Comprehensive solution for startups’ AI teams
Klu’s vision aligns with the growing trend of startups forming dedicated AI teams to identify and deploy AI use cases. However, these growing teams often face complex infrastructure, slow iteration cycles, and a lack of dedicated tools.
Klu addresses these challenges with products like Klu Studio for rapid prototyping, Klu Engine for accessing leading AI models like GPT-4 and Llama 2, Klu Eval for evaluating new iterations of AI-powered models, and Klu Optimise for fine-tuning outputs based on real-world usage data.
Early adopters tried to build similar platforms but encountered challenges, setbacks, and maintenance issues. Klu learned from these pain points and optimised its solution. The platform allows businesses to deploy, observe, and optimise advanced LLM-enabled features from months to just under ten minutes.
“The layoffs of late 2022 shifted modelling work from data scientists to product teams consuming AI APIs. These new AI Teams use Klu to launch LLM-powered features in days that outperform old models built over months,” adds Walker.
One-stop platform for AI deployment
Klu supports all major LLM providers like OpenAI, Azure Openai, GCP Vertex, and AWS Bedrock. Customers can easily integrate their Klu-created LLM apps with partners such as Salesforce, Atlassian, Supabase, Asana, Intercom, Zendesk, Slack, Notion, and Google.
Klu also provides continuous observability insights and evaluation of prompt changes, helping AI engineers to update features and prompts effectively.
“We are thrilled to back Klu as they enable the next generation of AI-powered software. With Klu, knowledge workers can spin up AI-based internal workflows to automate repetitive tasks and embed AI workflows into their products for customers to experience,” says Sam Endacott, a partner at Firstminute Capital.
“This is a major product challenge which is why Stephen and Stefan with their prior roles at Productboard and Skyscanner are the right duo to solve this problem,” Endacott adds.