Microsoft invests in "annoying AI" startup valued at .75 billion



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Databricks Inc., which says it builds software to help companies meet their "boring IA" needs, has raised a new round of financing that values ​​the deal at $ 2.75 billion.

Microsoft was among the investors in the $ 250 million financing, the company said on Tuesday. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz led the deal with contributions from Coatue Management and New Enterprise Associates. The investment raises Databricks' total fundraising to nearly $ 500 million since the company was founded in 2013.

Databricks sell tools that group together a company's databases and apply a form of artificial intelligence to search for meaningful information. The San Francisco startup posted $ 100 million in annual recurring revenue last year and said its subscription sales tripled in the fourth quarter from a year earlier.

Viacom Inc., HP Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. are among the more than 2,000 customers of the service. Microsoft is promoting a version of the software as part of its cloud product, Azure.

Ali Ghodsi, chief executive of Databricks, said he plans to use the new capital to hire, open new offices and move into other sectors such as media, retail and government. Part of his argument: Databricks "meets the needs of large enterprise customers who want to make boring AI use cases."

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