Generative AI Infrastructure Startup Modular Raises $100M
Generative AI infrastructure startup Modular has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by General Catalyst. Modular pitches its technology as a way to break down the limits to AI imposed by an often convoluted and disconnected technical infrastructure. The goal is a streamlined process that can handle the creation and maintenance of large-scale AI operations.
The new funding brings Modular’s total investment to $130 million and comes at a time of surging enterprise appetite for Modular’s vision of making AI infrastructure and capabilities more accessible. The rush for generative AI is straining cloud infrastructure built for a previous era of AI, with today’s models demanding computing power at least an order of magnitude greater than had been usual. Strained physical sustainability and enormous costs lead to restricted access. Modular’s solution promises far more efficiency through a unified AI engine that maximizes performance across hardware. Modular’s tests show a performance up to nine times faster than alternatives. Since unveiling its platform in April, Modular has seen rapid growth, attracting over 120,000 developers from enterprises and startups alike.
That’s also an appeal of its Mojo programming language for AI developers. Mojo supposedly operates 35,000 times faster than Python and combines Python’s usability with the performance of C, unlocking major productivity improvements for AI developers. In the latest milestone, Mojo can now run locally on developers’ machines, fulfilling the offline development environment that has been the most commonly demanded feature from Mojo users. Hundreds of early adopters are already testing the Mojo SDK preview before its public launch in September. Modular plans to open-source Mojo’s standard library and accept community contributions by year’s end.
“We have built and delivered the world’s fastest unified AI engine that provides full compatibility with major AI frameworks – such as TensorFlow and PyTorch – and delivers unparalleled performance and cost savings on today’s CPUs, with support for GPUs coming in the Fall,” Modular’s team explained in a blog post. “We founded Modular with a vision to recreate AI infrastructure for the world, with a hope that it acts as a catalyst to unlock more AI developers, more innovation, and ultimately better AI products for everyone. This is a huge and important mission, and now we have incredible resources to work towards that.”