Lux Capital leads the round, Sequoia and Coatue invest in the company for the first time. Some of the startup’s existing investors took part again. These investors include Addition, Betaworks, AIX Ventures, Cygni Capital, Kevin Durant and Olivier Pomel.
Despite its short life, Hugging Face has gone through an interesting evolution. When I first covered company in 2017, the startup focused on a consumer application. It looked like just another messaging app. And yet, there was no one on the other side of the conversation, as it was a chatbot for bored teenagers.
This consumer bet did not pay off, but the company continued to improve its natural language processing technology. Hugging Face released transformers library on GitHub and immediately attracted a lot of attention – it currently has 62,000 stars and 14,000 forks on the platform.
With Transformers you can use popular NLP models such as BERT, GPT-2, T5 or DistilBERT and use these models to manipulate text in one way or another. For example, you can classify text, extract information, automatically answer questions, summarize text, generate text, and so on.
With the success of this library, Hugging Face has quickly become the go-to repository for everything related to machine learning models, not just natural language processing. On the company website Web siteyou can browse thousands of pre-trained machine learning models, participate in the developer community with your own model, upload datasets, and more.
Basically, Hugging Face is building GitHub for machine learning. It is a community driven platform with many repositories. Developers can create, discover, and collaborate on models, datasets, and machine learning applications.
Hugging Face also offers hosting services such as Output API this allows you to use thousands of models through a programming interface and the ability to “auto-learn” your model.
With today’s funding round, the company plans to do the same. There are currently 10,000 companies using the Hugging Face in one way or another, so this is not the time to change direction again.
Credit: techcrunch.com /