Meta alumni startup TrueFoundry raises $2.3 million to accelerate ML deals • TechCrunch

A group of former meta engineers are building a platform that allows enterprises to deploy machine learning models at the speed of big tech companies. Their startup, TrueFoundry, raised $2.3 million in a funding round.

The San Francisco, California-headquartered startup automates repetitive tasks in its machine learning pipeline to free data scientists and engineers to focus on high-value, innovative tasks. Built on Kubernetes, the custom platform works as a cloud-agnostic solution that can be deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and TensorFlow.

Trufoundry claims that machine learning enables teams to get results 10x faster and reduce their production time from “several weeks to a few hours.” This is especially helpful for businesses that don’t have large machine learning teams.

Unlike the time-consuming traditional way, Trufoundry says machine learning developers can use the platform to put their models into production as a host endpoint, auto-scale in less than five minutes, and track results from the start.

Nikunj Bajaj, founder and CEO of TrueFoundry, told TechCrunch in an interview that some key lessons learned from Meta have helped the startup tackle the challenges of machine learning deployment. After completing his master’s degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, Bajaj worked as an ML Tech Lead at Meta and Reflektion, a San Mateo-based software development company.

He co-founded TrueFoundry in June 2021 with his IIT Kharagpur batchmates Anurag Gutgutia and Abhishek Choudhary. Choudhary, who serves as CTO at TrueFoundry, worked as a software engineer at Meta and helped the social networking giant develop products including mobile apps and live video.

Trufoundry sees Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure as some of its key competitors because they have their own machine learning platforms. Gutgutia, however, believes that the big cloud players are not very developer friendly.

“From day zero, our goal has been to provide a superior developer experience. The learning curve to get started on our system is no more than an hour,” he said.

TrueFoundry is serving clients with a small team of data scientists and working in sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, financial services, healthcare and retail, among others.

Prior to co-founding TrueFoundry, Bajaj and Gutgutia co-founded Enthir, an AI-based recruiting platform acquired by DataAge last year.

Trufoundry, which currently has 16 headcount and is based mostly in India, said on Tuesday it raised $2.3 million in a round led by Sequoia India Surge. Others who participated in the funding include Eniac Ventures and angels like Angelist co-founder Naval Ravikant, Deutsche Bank Global COO Dilip Khandelwal, GitHub India head Manesh Sharma, Greenhouse Software CTO Mike Boufford and Kaggle founder Anthony Goldblum.

The startup, which plans to use the new funds to expand its platform and hire more individuals, recently opened up access to its platform and is working with companies as early customers for a beta release. It aims to have an official launch in the next one or two months, Gutgutia said.

It is also looking for passenger advisors to help promote the platform and expand its reach.

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