Hugging Face, the AI startup that’s building GitHub of machine learning is raising fresh funds at a valuation of $4 billion, reported Forbes on Thursday citing people familiar with the matter. The company had raised $100 million in a Series C that valued it at $2 billion a little over a year ago. The round was led by Lux Capital with Sequoia, Coatue, and existing investors – including Addition, Betaworks, AIX Ventures, Cygni Capital, Kevin Durant and Olivier Pomel, participating in it.
As part of its latest round, Series D, the AI firm could raise between $200 to $300 million, according to the report by Forbes. Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Alphabet’s GV, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), are reportedly looking to invest in the company – with Sound Ventures leading the race.
Founded in 2016 by Clément Delangue, Julien Chaumond, and Thomas Wolf, Hugging Face was originally focused on building a chatbot for teenagers. It later pivoted to become a platform provider for machine learning technologies. In their own words, they want to democratize machine learning.
The New York-headquartered startup offers developers to browse and use thousands of pre-trained machine learning models, engage with the rest of the community on the platform by sharing their own models, download datasets, and autotrain the models. It charges users $9 for a pro account and enterprises $20 per user. The company also makes money by providing individuals and companies with hosting services for models – starting from $0.06/hour.
According to the report by Forbes, Hugging Face’s annual revenue run rate is between $30 to $50 million at the moment. When it raised its last round, it was at $10 million.
If Hugging Face closes the round at a valuation of $4 billion or more, it could become one of the most valuable AI startups in the world.