Union.ai announces $19.1M Series A and launches all-new Union Cloud to simplify AI and data workflows for all
Union Cloud enables any organization to operationalize complex AI with data ownership, governance and cost efficiency.
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON, May 17, 2023 — Union.ai, a company that extends companies’ ability to create next-generation AI and data products at scale, today announced general availability of Union Cloud for North American and European customers of AWS and GCP. Union Cloud empowers organizations to deliver highly reliable and impactful products that leverage the latest AI technologies at low cost, high quality and rapid velocity. The company also announced it has raised $19.1 million in Series A financing from NEA and Nava Ventures in order to fuel growth and its expanded offerings.
For the past few quarters, Union AI has been working with its Union Cloud customer partners to solve problems that impede delivering high-quality AI products. “During this period we learned about problems like observability, governance and infrastructure maintenance that impede realization of value from AI,” said Union AI CEO Ketan Umare. “Our accelerated momentum reflects on the success of Flyte, the popular open-source workflow orchestration platform, and we are seeing an even broader range of customers expressing excitement about Union Cloud as a new managed solution that is powered by Flyte.”
“Machine learning, and especially large language models, raise big issues around privacy and information security. Companies are becoming increasingly wary of using services where they lose control over what precisely happens with their data,” said Greg Papadopoulos, venture partner, NEA. “Combining the power of big models with rich company data has to be handled with care — that’s one of the reasons why we’re so excited about the progress made by the Union.AI team, first with Flyte and now with Union Cloud. This is exactly what people are demanding and a real differentiator: Let me exploit the power of large language models while maintaining control and ownership of my data.”
“The AI landscape is evolving quickly, and companies that do not have significant internal developer resources run the risk of falling behind. To be able to participate let alone compete in today’s rapidly changing AI powered product landscape, time to value is of the essence.” said Manish Patel, founder, Nava Ventures. “That’s why we are excited to invest in and work closely with Ketan Umare and the Union.AI team as they extend the power of Flyte even further through Union Cloud, allowing many more companies to quickly go from research to production.”
Organizations that have adopted Flyte include hundreds of well-known brands and startups, among them Spotify, Stripe, Gojek, Wolt, LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. Users report Flyte dramatically increases productivity by automatically versioning data and AI pipelines, making them auditable, reliable, reproducible and infinitely scalable.
Mick Jermsurawong, a machine learning infrastructure engineer with Stripe, said Flyte’s efficiencies create measurable business outcomes for the payment platform. “Based on a single team, we see 10x more offline training jobs dispatched from Flyte, and that results in 5x more frequent model releases with sizable business gains,” Jermsurawong said. “I think the realization here is that ML productivity is not a nice to have but actually a business requirement.”
Katrina Palen, a staff ML platform engineer at Stash, describes Flyte’s impact on its ML workflows: “Our provision time is at least two times faster on average. Model execution is three times faster, and the cost — which we can actually probably further optimize with minimal configuration and optimization — is at least three times cheaper.”
Flyte is built for efficiency with features like automatic provisioning of data and ML systems, which helps reduce compute costs. “Rather than running expensive GPU clusters constantly, Flyte launches infrastructure when needed and tears it down when idle,” Umare said. “Additionally, its built-in caching and smart checkpointing architecture enables data and ML teams to use cheaper Spot instances reliably.”
Union Cloud: Machine Learning Engineered and Delivered Seamlessly
Union Cloud delivers all the power and capabilities of Flyte orchestration to companies that don’t want to invest in building and maintaining their own infrastructures.
- For an end-to-end view of even the most complex pipelines, Union Cloud provides engineering and production teams state-of-the-art task-level observability and gives group leaders the ability to measure ROI for individual projects.
- Data scientists, researchers and production engineers can run highly efficient workloads without installing or maintaining Kubernetes clusters for their AI and data pipelines.
- Union Cloud offers role-based access control (RBAC) and fine-grained authorization, guaranteeing security and flexibility.
- Union Cloud is secure. It’s deployed in your VPC, so you control access to your data.
- Union Cloud is SOC 2 Type II compliant.
Union Cloud significantly enhances the power available to data and AI teams of any size, Umare continued. “We have given any team the ability to compete without the infrastructure burden with data ownership and governance.”
Union Cloud is a transformative technology platform that empowers organizations to carry out a broad range of sophisticated tasks without the need for extensive infrastructure or dedicated Kubernetes teams. This allows organizations to focus on their core objectives, fostering innovation across various domains. These tasks include (but are not limited to) developing production pipelines for advanced perception and language modeling, enabling autonomous driving capabilities, facilitating breakthroughs in drug discovery, engineering novel molecules, and refining operational research strategies. The beauty of Union Cloud is that it provides a streamlined, user-friendly approach, reducing the complexity typically associated with such processes. Most importantly, Union Cloud can lower overall compute costs dramatically while offering complete observability for data and AI workflows — even on a task level.
Union Cloud is immediately available for AWS and GCP and starts at $2,500 per month. Union offers free trials for qualified users. Learn more about Union Cloud at https://union.ai.
Union.ai is revolutionizing the way organizations approach machine learning and data orchestration with Union Cloud, a managed version of the innovative Flyte platform. This unique, Kubernetes-native solution simplifies the processes of data scientists and machine learning engineers, ensuring seamless and efficient workflow automation. With a proven track record of success among market-leading companies, Union.ai continues to be the driving force behind Flyte’s development and adoption.
Nava Ventures was founded in 2021 with a focus on Series A technology investing. Nava is a lead investor, built on a craftsman-like approach to venture capital. Our team has more than a decade of experience investing in early stage start-ups, and has been fortunate to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who have scaled their businesses from idea to IPO. We look to invest in those technologies that transform industries and reshape our everyday lives. For more information, please visit www.nava.vc
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. Founded in 1977, NEA has over $25 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2022 and invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm’s long track record of investing includes more than 270 portfolio company IPOs and more than 450 mergers and acquisitions. For more information, please visit www.nea.com.