Hugging Face secures $235M in funding from Salesforce and Nvidia

Hugging Face secures $235M in funding from Salesforce and Nvidia

AI startup Hugging Face has raised $235M in Series D funding. Notable investors like Salesforce and Nvidia have supported this startup with this funding. The funding values the company at $4.5 billion, twice its valuation from May 2022. Featuring a wide array of tools for data science, AI code repositories, model evaluation, and more, it underscores the growing demand for AI and associated development platforms.

Hugging Face also has paid features, including AutoTrain for automated AI model training, Inference API for hosting models without handling infrastructure, and Infinity to speed up live model data processing. AI is transforming software development, exceeding the previous software shift. Hugging Face’s CEO, Clément Delangue, emphasizes the heightened significance of this AI transition. He attributes it to the incorporation of new features and accelerated progression. Additionally, he outlines Hugging Face’s role as the driving force behind this transformative change, positioning it as an open platform.

Hugging Face was founded in Brooklyn by French entrepreneurs Clément Delangue, Julien Chaumond, and Thomas Wolf in 2016. Firstly, a chatbot app for teenagers changed to a machine learning platform after sharing the app’s algorithm as open source. Currently, they are a family of approximately 10,000 customers. Moẻovẻ, approximately 50,000 organizations are using this platform and their model hub contains more than 1 million repositories.

Hugging Face’s growth is increased by current enterprise interest in AI. A poll by HubSpot reveals that approximately 43% of business leaders plan to invest more in AI automation tools in 2023. Moreover, 31% of businesses consider AI and automation as the most significant tool for their business strategy. Hugging Face contributes to MLOps, which streamlines AI model deployment and upkeep. The MLOps market, set to reach $16.61 billion by 2030, is important and corresponds with Hugging Face’s offerings.

Apart from its primary offerings, Hugging Face is involved in other endeavors. They initiated BigScience back in 2021. It is a volunteer project creating an open-source language model similar to GPT-3. This led to Bloom, a multilingual model on their platform.  Hugging Face also contributed to open-source models like StarCoder with ServiceNow and ChatGPT in collaboration with LAION. They also joined hands with major cloud providers, some of whom are strategic investors.

Hugging Face collaborated with Nvidia to improve cloud computing access via Nvidia’s DGX platform. They have joined hands with Amazon to expand their products on AWS, using Amazon’s Trainium chips to advance Bloom. Moreover, they worked with Microsoft on Hugging Face Endpoints on Azure to facilitate scalable AI models.

With this funding, Hugging Face plans to strengthen its research, enterprise, and startup efforts. They currently have 170 employees and plan to increase their team. Hugging Face has raised $395.2 million, making it a well-funded AI startup. In terms of funding, OpenAI ($11.3 billion), Anthropic ($1.6 billion), Inflection AI ($1.5 billion), Cohere ($435 million), and Adept ($415 million) are among the leading startups in the AI space.

Source: Hugging Face

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