Lisbon, Portugal-based YData, a tech startup that claims to have created the first data preparation platform to accelerate the development of AI solutions, has raised $2.7M (approx €2.33M) in its Seed round of funding to fast-track its expansion across Europe and North America.
The current round follows €500K the company raised in its pre-Seed round of funding in March last year led by Faber.
Investors in this round
The current round was led by Flying Fish Partners, a US-based fund that specialises in AI and whose partners are former Microsoft and Amazon Directors. The round also saw participation from existing investors Faber, EDP Ventures, and Real Ventures.
Sharing his own experiences with the problem that YData solves, Frank Chang, Managing Partner at Flying Fish Partners says, “While at Microsoft, our key pain point when building AI systems was data. The team spent a huge amount of time, money, and data science resources on ensuring we had high-quality data and the right sets of data to build the models we needed. The company built its own internal system to handle this, and I’m so excited to see YData tackling a very real problem that many companies will face, but don’t have the resources to solve internally.”
Funds for global expansion
The raised capital will help YData expand its services in global markets, predominantly in the US, Canada, and the rest of Europe. As part of this growth plan, co-founder and CEO Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro will move to the US to lead the expansion strategy, while the company’s development team will remain in Portugal.
Besides, the company is also looking to grow its business development and product teams in the US and tech development teams in Portugal and across Europe.
Accelerating AI with improved data
Founded in 2019 by Fabiana Clemente and Goncalo Martins Ribeiro, YData has created a data-centric development solution to combine data discovery, improvement, and scale in one environment. Its platform accelerates the development of AI solutions, increases return on investment, and solves a critical problem for AI development – data quality.
Gonçalo Martins Ribeiro explains, “Typically, data scientists spend 80 per cent of their time just cleaning and preparing data, while 85 per cent of AI projects fail, mainly due to poor data quality.”
“Our solution improves the quality of datasets, using state-of-the-art technology such as synthetic data generation, and helps data scientists build better datasets in a much easier and faster manner. Moreover, our Open-source community enables data scientists to contribute to the development of the technology and apply it to projects before committing to buying the platform,” adds Ribeiro.
The company’s technology has already been adopted by organisations in the financial services, utilities, and telecoms sectors.
Fabiana Clemente adds, “In the coming years, any company that is investing in Artificial Intelligence will need to start with YData to assess and improve the quality of existing data, before training a machine learning model.”
YData is an alumnus of some of the world’s recognised startup programs, including the Google For Startups Residency, NVIDIA Inception Program, Techstars AI, and IBM Hyper Protect.