Modular Lands $100M to Simplify AI Development and Deployment

JJohn August 24, 2023 6:47 PM

Artificial intelligence startup, Modular, successfully secures $100 million in funding to advance its innovative AI programming language, Mojo, and to boost the development of its core products. The company aims to simplify AI model creation, optimization and scaling.

Modular secures significant funding

AI startup, Modular, has secured $100 million in funding, bringing its total capital up to $130 million. The round was led by General Catalyst, with GV (Google Ventures), SV Angel, Greylock, and Factory also participating. This funding will primarily be used to expand Modular's product range, enhance hardware support and develop their proprietary programming language, Mojo. The company plans to use this financial boon to meet increasing customer demand and improve its core products, rather than pumping it into AI computing.

Modular was birthed from the shared vision of Chris Lattner, a former Googler, and Tim Davis, his past colleague from Google Brain. They saw the potential of AI being stifled by a convoluted and fragmented technical infrastructure. As a solution, they founded Modular to simplify the process of building and maintaining large-scale AI systems. One of their creations is an engine that bolsters the inferencing performance of AI models on CPUs and, later this year, GPUs. Lattner claims that this engine can make these models run up to 7.5 times faster than on their native frameworks.

Unveiling Mojo, the new AI language

Another flagship product from Modular is Mojo, a programming language that aims to marry the convenience of Python with advanced features like caching, adaptive compilation techniques, and metaprogramming. Already in the hands of hundreds of early adopters, Modular plans to launch Mojo for general availability soon. Mojo presents an intriguing proposition to developers as it strives to streamline AI development by integrating different components of an AI application onto a single technology base.

Modular is on a mission to dismantle the complexities slowing the pace of AI development. By addressing fragmentation issues in the AI stack, particularly where AI software meets hardware, the firm is catalyzing innovation and helping developers get more value from their AI investments. The success of their approach is evidenced by the rapid growth in their community, with over 120,000 developers joining within just four months since their product keynote.

Addressing unsustainable AI demand

The demand for AI is skyrocketing at such a pace that it's nearing the brink of unsustainability, especially given the hefty compute requirements of today's AI models. Modular is stepping up to tackle this challenge, striving to make AI development more affordable and sustainable. By easing the technical load, they aim to make AI accessible to a wider range of enterprises.

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