Openlayer raises $4.8m seed round to build guardrails for AI

Read about our financing round led by Quiet Capital

Today marks an important milestone for all of us at Openlayer. We’re delighted to announce our $4.8M seed round, led by Quiet Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, Picus Capital, Hack VC, Liquid2 Ventures, Soma Capital, Mantis VC, and Ground Up VC. We’re also fortunate to partner with some awesome angels like Max Mullen, Mike Krieger, Guillermo Rauch, Gokul Rajaram, Yuri Sagalov and Jonathan Swanson.

Our journey started in early 2020, when the three founders were working on a set of exciting AI projects at Apple.

We started to realize that, for each of these projects, most of our time was spent solving challenges around evaluating models. We grew frustrated that we encountered the same problem over and over: there was no standardized framework, tool, or guidance for testing and collaborating on models. Prior to deployment, engineers were mostly left to their own devices to manually dig through failing rows in an effort to understand and improve models.

Left to right: founders Rishab Ramanathan, Vikas Nair, and Gabriel Bayomi

The work of evaluating models has historically been tedious, inefficient, and insufficient. It’s a guessing game. Because of this, often times errors are left uncaught until after they are deployed and start to affect users. This results in rollbacks, stretched development cycles, and potentially disastrous outcomes. We realized the inefficiency and quickly became passionate about building a best-in-class framework for evaluating models to solve these problems.

With the capital raised, we have built a team of likeminded engineers, researchers, and designers from Amazon, Apple, and Harvard Design who are passionate about paving this road for the next generation of AI development. Together, we created Openlayer — a one-of-a-kind machine learning validation and testing platform that enables users to efficiently detect, diagnose, and correct model failures. The product is a culmination of extensive design thought, engineering, and collaboration with a select group of customers, including Fortune 500s and startups. Our customers use Openlayer to boost model performance, streamline development processes, and ship with confidence.

Our focus is now on releasing the product to the public, and expanding to deliver similar value to even more ML teams. The increasing complexity, versatility, and prevalence of models we’re seeing present an ever-expanding surface area of potential vulnerability. LLMs, like ChatGPT, are capable of producing highly accurate and coherent outputs, but they can still make unacceptable errors or generate outputs that may be inappropriate or biased. Our platform will help users better understand these errors, identify their root causes, and refine their models accordingly. We believe that everyone should be empowered to effortlessly ship reliable, performant and ethical models to the world.

If these problems resonate, you can try out Openlayer now or find a time to chat.

Getting here has required the collective effort and support of so many people, and we’d like to thank all of you — our earliest clients, as well as our team, investors, friends and family. You’ve given us the courage to build something truly transformative. We can’t wait to show you.

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