Meta alumni startup TrueFoundry raises $2.3M to accelerate ML deployment

A group of ex-Meta engineers is building a platform to help enterprises deploy machine learning models at the speed of big tech companies. Their launch, TrueFoundryraised $2.3 million in a funding round.

The San Francisco, California-based startup automates repetitive tasks in the machine learning pipeline to allow data scientists and engineers to focus on more valuable and more creative tasks. Built on Kubernetes, the custom platform operates as a cloud-agnostic solution that can be deployed on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

TrueFoundry says it helps machine learning teams get results 10x faster and cuts production times from “a few weeks to a few hours.” This is especially useful for businesses that don’t have large machine learning teams.

Unlike the time-consuming traditional way, TrueFoundry says machine learning developers using its platform can get their models into production as hosted endpoints along with auto-scaling in less than five minutes and monitor results from the start.

Nikunj Bajaj, co-founder and CEO of TrueFoundry, said in an interview with TechCrunch that some key lessons from Meta helped the startup solve its machine learning implementation problems. Bajaj worked as an ML Tech Lead at Meta and San Mateo-based software development company Reflektion after completing his MS in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

He founded TrueFoundry in June 2021 along with his IIT Kharagpur colleagues Anuraag Gutgutia and Abhishek Choudhary. Choudhary, who is CTO at TrueFoundry, also worked at Meta as a software engineer and helped the social networking giant develop products including mobile apps and live video.

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

“Our goal from day zero has been to provide the ultimate developer experience. The learning curve to get started with our system is no more than an hour,” he said.

TrueFoundry serves clients with small teams of data professionals and operates in sectors such as fintech, e-commerce, financial services, healthcare and retail, among others.

Before venturing into TrueFoundry, Bajaj, Choudhary and Gutgutia co-founded AI-based recruiting platform EntHire, which was acquired by Info Edge last year.

TrueFoundry, which currently has 16 staff and is primarily based in India, said on Tuesday it has raised $2.3 million in a round led by Sequoia India’s Surge. Others involved in the funding included Eniac Ventures and angels such as AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant, Deutsche Bank global CIO Dilip Khandelwal, GitHub India head Maneesh Sharma, Greenhouse Software CTO Mike Boufford and Kaggle founder Anthony Goldbloom.

The startup, which plans to deploy the fresh funds to expand its platform and hire more people, recently opened early access to its platform and is working with companies as early customers for its beta release. It aims to do a public launch in the next one or two months, Gutgutia said.

It is also looking for board advisors who can help promote the platform and expand its reach.

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