Artificial intelligence (AI) company Hugging Face has raised $235m in a Series D funding round at a valuation of $4.5bn.
In a post on LinkedIn, Hugging Face co-founder and CEO Clem Delangue announced that the round was joined by several technology giants.
The New York-headquartered company plans to use the proceeds to increase its workforce to remain competitive in the AI space, reported CNBC, citing Delangue.
Hugging Face provides a platform for AI developers to share code, models, and data sets as well as make use of the company’s developer tools to make operating open-source AI models simpler.
It is also said to host weights, which are large files and a crucial aspect of the majority of today’s AI models.
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Additionally, it builds software tools known as libraries that enable users to easily set up models, clean up big datasets, or assess their performance.
Furthermore, it provides several AI models on a web interface for users to experiment.
Speaking to the publication, Delangue said Hugging Face supports the notion that the majority of AI-related businesses will choose to create their own models or technology and will require tools to do so.
Delangue expects that Hugging Face will become an everyday tool used by AI engineers to complete their work.
According to him, one reason why big businesses are investing is because their employees are actively using the platform.
“AI builders are using Hugging Face all day, every day,” Delangue said, adding that in the upcoming years, there will likely be an increase in the number of software developers using AI models.
“Maybe in five years, you are going to have like 100 million AI builders. And if all of them use Hugging Face all day, every day, we will obviously be in a good position,” he noted.