Tiger Global Eyes Scale AI Bet
|Alexandr Wang, Founder and CEO, Scale AI.
Photo credit: Scale AI
Investment firm Tiger Global has offered to invest in Scale AI, a startup that helps companies train artificial intelligence systems to recognize objects and analyze documents, at a valuation of $3.2 billion post-money, according to a report [paywalled] from The Information. A $3.2 billion valuation for Scale is more than triple its last valuation of $1 billion when it raised $100 million from a group of investors in August last year.
Scale AI was founded only four years ago and has raised over $120 million in funding from investors including notable names like Founders Fund, Coatue Management, and Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The company is notably led by a 23-year-old CEO, Alexandr Wang, a rarity given his age. Wang founded the company in 2016 after pausing undergraduate studies at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Scale AI builds software to annotate images for training artificial intelligence for applications in mapping, robotics, autonomous driving, and the likes. It isn’t a pure software operation, however, and maintains a team of human contractors who participate in the annotation process. Customers of Scale AI include autonomous drone maker Skydio, automaker Toyota, and self-driving companies Voyage and Embark.
It’s unclear whether Scale AI has accepted Tiger Global’s investment offer, The Information reports. In a case where it does, it’ll mark a major investment for a relatively young company in a year that’s seen lots of big investment deals for startups.
Tiger Global is a major investor in technology companies so leading a new round for Scale AI wouldn’t be a surprise. The investment firm just recently led a $350 million round of financing for advertising analytics company DoubleVerify.