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DataRobot: Making Enterprises Intelligent with ‘Boring AI’

Let’s face it: the real value of machine learning and AI for enterprises isn’t tantalizing or controversial — it’s boring, and that makes it useful.

AI in driverless cars, beating the world’s best GO player, and finding cures for cancer may get the headlines, but the greatest impact of AI is in enabling employees to do their jobs a little better by freeing them from mind-numbing, daily toils. This opportunity is about using AI to solve boring problems, or as we call it, Boring AI.

When you focus on the more esoteric use cases, we miss the near term opportunity of how AI and machine learning can truly transform businesses’ operations by automating the drudgery involved in many processes. From the business perspective, many of the most exciting AI applications are deathly boring — crunching enormous volumes of corporate data, auditing expense reports, or making sure policies are complied with.

Unlocking the value of boring AI is a topic we hear about in almost every meeting we have with Sapphire’s extensive CxO network, which is one reason we’re excited to announce our investment in DataRobot. DataRobot offers an enterprise platform that empowers users — of all skill levels — to develop and deploy machine learning and AI. Their platform democratizes AI by:

  • enabling analysts familiar with mainstream business intelligence tools to leverage machine learning to build sophisticated, predictive analytics models
  • making a library of the most powerful open-source algorithms available
  • automating, training, and evaluating models in parallel to deliver AI applications at scale

While DataRobot makes AI and machine learning accessible to business analysts, experienced data scientists can also leverage the platform to go multiple levels deeper in customizing and optimizing the models. With this extensible approach, DataRobot provides the fastest path to Boring AI success for enterprises of all sizes.

We have known Jeremy Achin, CEO and co-founder of DataRobot, for more than two years. Jeremy is a data-scientist turned entrepreneur who worked at a large enterprise struggling to use machine learning and AI. This first-hand experience is why Jeremy is so passionate about democratizing AI and machine learning. He understands the pain-points and issues enterprises have in leveraging AI to unlock the value in “boring” activities.

At Sapphire Ventures, we know that “great teams build great companies.” Not only is Jeremy a passionate and charismatic founder, but he has assembled a seasoned team who have seen this “rodeo” before through a number of successful exits. The quality of the team, and the quality of the platform they have built, gives us confidence that DataRobot is on its way to becoming an indispensable part of the machine-learning and AI stack for enterprises.

We are excited to welcome DataRobot to the Sapphire Ventures portfolio and look forward to helping them scale-up and go global. We are all looking forward to helping build another “Company of Consequence” with Jeremy and his team.

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