French AI data training start-up Kili Technology raises $25m

28 Jul 2021

Kili Technology co-founders Edouard d’Archimbaud and François-Xavier Leduc. Image: Balderton

The Paris-based tech start-up, founded in 2018, previously raised $7m in seed funding in January.

AI data training platform Kili Technology has raised $25m in Series A funding led by London-based VC firm Balderton Capital.

Previous investors Serena Capital and Headline also participated in the round, which comes six months after the French start-up raised $7m in seed funding.

Kili Technology helps companies transform their raw data, such as contracts, emails, images and video, into data that is usable for AI projects. The Paris-based start-up was founded by Edouard d’Archimbaud and François-Xavier Leduc in 2018.

CEO Leduc said that for the last 40 years, AI-related research has focused on model preparation that only leads to marginal increases in model performance. However, focusing on data instead of models can lead to gains in performance.

Quoting AI expert Andrew Ng, he said that 80pc of machine learning work is spent on data preparation, meaning that data quality is a major task for AI teams. “Kili Technology solution enables all companies implementing AI to enter into this new paradigm,” Leduc said.

Co-founder d’Archimbaud, who is the CTO, said that Kili Technology’s features enable productivity gains by simplifying and speeding up annotation tasks.

“Kili Technology’s strength lies in the perfection of its technology. Our solution integrates state-of-the-art AI annotation technology, such as interactive segmentation that reduces by 50 data annotation time and reaches 94pc precision,” he said.

Over the past six months, the company has increased its client portfolio in France and expanded in Europe, Asia and the US. It has clients across multiple industries, including banking and insurance, manufacturing, defence, retail and healthcare.

Kili Technology is headquartered in France and has offices in the US and Singapore. In a blogpost, the company said that it has doubled the size of its team since its seed funding round in January and now plans to hire 70 more people over the next year.

“Managing and transforming unstructured data into training-ready data involves complex workflows and collaboration between business users and data teams,” said Bernard Liautaud, managing partner at Balderton Capital.

“Kili’s data infrastructure platform simplifies this by managing the entire data lifecycle, helping companies to save time and money. We were impressed by the combination of technical experience from Kili’s team and their capacity to execute at a fast pace.”

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic