SmartGateVC is part of Snark AI’s seed round along with Y Combinator, Baidu Ventures, Fenox Ventures

Dec 29, 2018
2 min read

SmartGateVC is excited to be part of Snark AI’s $1.7m seed round with Y Combinator, Baidu Ventures, Fenox Ventures, Tribe Capital, and other prominent angels and VCs.

Nowadays, training cutting-edge Deep Learning models is slow and expensive. The complexity doubles every 3.5 months, while training a single Deep Learning model can take 4 weeks and cost $10,000 in cloud credits. As a result, developers iterate less and rely on outdated or inaccurate models. The issue is further complicated with requirement of time-consuming DevOps work and specialized knowledge to configuring cloud or on-premise infrastructure to perform Deep Learning tasks optimally. Managing a team of Deep Learning engineers and tracking the hundreds of models is yet another challenge. Engineers currently spend hours analyzing model performance and generating manual reports.

Snark AI Deep Learning Platform

Snark AI introduces a Deep Learning platform designed to enable up to 100x faster Deep Learning training, fully managed Hybrid Cloud, and comprehensive model tracking and analysis.

The company currently works with pilot customers generating remarkable results under private beta. They are planning to release the platform to the public Q1 2019.

Snark AI is co-founded by Davit Buniatyan and Jason Ge, both Princeton University PhDs, and is YC’s summer 2018 batch graduate. The original idea was around helping companies to get on-demand access to idle GPUs - think of it as an Uber for GPUs, however, currently Snark AI pivoted to cover a wider range in the stack.

While we were doing research at Princeton, we found out that the ecosystem for deep learning on the cloud is very immature. It was very costly and difficult to train and deploy large-scale deep learning on the cloud. That inspired us to start a company to solve the problem. ” says Jason Ge, CEO and co-founder of Snark AI.

At Snark AI, we abstract away AI infrastructure and enable clients to concentrate on the most important by significantly improving the time that takes from advancing Deep Learning models to deploying in the production. From the early days, SmartGateVC team was very helpful, both before and after the investment. They created SmartGateVC family (portfolio companies) that tackle problems in every aspect of Machine Learning from low level hardware level optimizations towards vertical AI applications. We are very happy to be part of it.” says Davit Buniatyan, CTO and co-founder of Snark AI.

Jason Ge, Sergiy Popovych, Davit Buniatyan after getting accepted to Y Combinator 2018

Excited to back companies like Snark. They’re true pioneers with huge vision and thoughtful

execution!” says Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, partner at SmartGateVC.

Snark AI is a key pillar in our portfolio, which covers important areas of the stack and infrastructure in AI. It’s a great pleasure to work with the team and shape a huge vision together,” says Ashot Arzumanyan, partner at SmartGateVC.

Snark AI is planning to run applied AI R&D in Armenia. Hence, we see a lot of synergies with SmartGateML - our machine learning excellence center,” says Vazgen Hakobjanyan, partner at SmartGateVC.

Read more about the story of Snark AI in recent publications: From Understanding How the brain works to Actually Building One and Davit Buniatyan: Snark AI builds machine learning platform to train and apply Deep Neural Networks at scale.

About SmartGateVCBacked by Tim Draper and seasoned tech entrepreneurs, SmartGateVC is a venture capital firm targeting companies in Artificial Intelligence, Security and Internet of Things.