Fiddler AI announced it has raised $32 million in Series B funding to give teams everywhere access to Fiddler’s Model Performance Management platform powered by Explainable AI to enable them to build Responsible AI in production. The round was led by global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners with participation from existing investors, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lux Capital, Haystack Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Lockheed Martin, and The Alexa Fund.
As AI decision-making has rapidly expanded into nearly every industry, there is a growing demand for the tools, processes, and understanding needed to deploy machine learning (ML) models responsibly. Compared to traditional software, modern AI systems are so complex that they resemble “black boxes.” As the market leader in ML Model Performance Management (MPM), Fiddler helps teams illuminate the black box and build trust with AI.
“Every company will have to become an AI company,” said George Mathew, Managing Director at Insight Partners, who will join Fiddler’s Board. “Through its unique MPM platform, Fiddler accelerates the march to an AI-first future while managing the ever present challenges of Explainability & Bias Detection. Fiddler’s Explainable AI and ML Monitoring Platform is setting the deployment standard for data scientists, ML engineers, and business leaders as they operationalize their AI initiatives.”
Fiddler provides transparency into the end-to-end AI lifecycle with a central system for monitoring, analyzing, and explaining models. The importance of MPM has become even more apparent in recent months. As the world changed because of COVID-19, with user behavior changing drastically and a lot more activity happening online, many production models had trouble keeping up. In addition, high-profile cases of AI bias have occurred in the financial and tech sectors (like the Apple card gender bias issue). Finally, companies are under growing pressure to comply with strict audits and regulations when using AI. There are now over 600 AI policy initiatives worldwide, and signs that the coming months will see more regulations, such as the EU AI regulations and the Algorithmic Accountability Act in the US.
Founded in 2018 by CEO Krishna Gade, Chief Product Officer Amit Paka, and Chief Architect Manoj Cheenath, Fiddler helps teams prepare for these challenges. The inspiration for Fiddler came from Gade’s work at Facebook, where he led the team that built explainability tools for the ML models behind Facebook’s Newsfeed. “After launching Fiddler’s Explainable AI Platform, we’ve expanded to encompass every stage of the AI lifecycle, from development, to validation, to production,” said Gade. “With the latest funding, we will bring our Model Performance Management solution to even more teams, explore new solutions to fight issues like bias and data drift, and continue driving customer education around Responsible AI.”
The company’s customers include leading financial organizations and technology platforms including one of the largest US financial institutions, a leading e-commerce platform, a gaming company, the ad-tech company, BigaBid, and more. Named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2020, a Forbes AI 50 company and a CB Insights AI 100 company in 2021, they also partner with policy leaders and research organizations. Hoda Eydgahi, Head of Data Science at Brex, explained how Fiddler has helped the team build responsible AI: “We’re expanding our models across different business units, and we need validation and monitoring that works across a wide number of stakeholders and at an enterprise scale. Fiddler’s centralized model performance monitoring is well-suited to meet our scale and model growth.”
Given their market leadership position and the rising need for MPM solutions, Fiddler has raised a total of $47 million, which includes $14.2 million in the seed and Series A rounds led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lux Capital, with participation from Haystack Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Lockheed Martin, and The Alexa Fund.