Toronto-based startup CentML has raised $27 million in seed funding to further develop its AI model optimization platform. The round was led by Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-focused venture fund, and includes participation from Radical Ventures, NVIDIA, Deloitte Ventures, and Thomson Reuters Ventures.
CentML provides software that dramatically improves the performance and cost efficiency of deploying machine learning models. Its technology can optimize models to work faster and reduce computing costs, without sacrificing accuracy. This addresses a major pain point as organizations struggle with the rising compute demands of AI adoption.
According to CentML, its platform recently optimized the Llama 2 natural language model to run 3x faster on previous-generation GPUs, reducing costs by 60%. The company claims additional case studies with inference and training speed improvements of up to 8x.
"One of the essential challenges of AI today is achieving models that are fast and cost effective to be viable at scale. CentML solves this problem," said CEO Gennady Pekhimenko. "Our technology can speed up inference and training by as much as 8x which has profound impact for our customers."
CentML was founded in 2022 by Pekhimenko, a recognized expert in ML systems, along with a founding team with experience at companies like Amazon, Google, NVIDIA, and IBM. The platform enables users to fine-tune algorithms, identify inefficiencies, and access real-time analytics to optimize model performance.
The funding comes amid surging enterprise demand for AI capabilities, which is driving up computing requirements. This creates an opportunity for innovations that expand the reach of AI through better efficiency. As Gradient's Zach Bratun-Glennon noted, "CentML's ability to accelerate models, orchestrate workloads and optimize performance expands the frontier of AI model growth in the near- and long-term."
With this substantial seed funding, CentML now has significant capital to continue developing its AI model optimization technology. As the AI industry experiences rapid growth in demand for optimized models, innovative startups like CentML are well-positioned to provide key solutions that can enable wider adoption of AI capabilities across organizations. The company's ability to attract investment from major players in AI research and hardware also speaks to the value of its approach to model optimization. As this technology evolves, it could become an important driver helping to advance the responsible development and scaling of AI.