Portfolio News

The Next Step of AI: Our Continued Investment in Scale

First published on August 9, 2018

Scale announced its Series B, with coverage from TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Wired amongst others.

Over the last 40+ years the biggest macro-trend in technology has been software. Software has dramatically increased the productivity of work, affecting many aspects of the world and making nearly everything it touches higher quality, faster, and cheaper. At a high level we’re still in the early innings of software, but a lot has been accomplished and much of the remaining work is the long, fat tail. We believe AI could be that next macro-trend, affecting the world and making everything it touches higher quality, faster, and cheaper. Slowly at first, but then faster over time. In many ways, AI is the most important derivative of software. For AI to accomplish that, a lot has to happen, foremost is the development of an ecosystem of people, companies, and tools to contribute. Scale’s mission is to accelerate the development of AI applications.

Since the Series A announced in May 2017, Scale has made a ton of progress. It has established itself as the standard in ground truth data for autonomous vehicle companies, including Cruise, Lyft, Zoox, nuTonomy, Nuro, Pony.AI and more. Scale has annotated as much data as if it had driven 200k miles (the distance to the moon). The company doesn’t just work with AV companies, it does all kinds of computer vision work and more for companies like Airbnb, Liberty Mutual, Pinterest, and P&G. More than 10,000 people are doing tasks for Scale all over the world. In just 15 months, the team has more than quintupled in size and is one of the best early-stage teams I’ve ever seen. If you’re interested, they’re also looking for more folks to join the cause.

Scale is just getting started, but it’s rare to find such an early company, with as talented a team, as big a vision, and the progress-to-date to match. Scale is beginning with data labeling, but that’s just the start. There are a lot of opportunities to help accelerate the development of AI. I’m excited for the future and happy to be riding shotgun.

PS I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Scale’s first San Francisco office was in my basement and now that the juju has been established, I’m taking applications.