Company building AI Infrastructure for Developers Addresses the “data problem” for Web3 Infrastructure
Spice AI announced a seed round of $13.5 million for its platform that enables developers to build data driven applications for Web3. Madrona led the round with Australia based Blackbird Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Alumni Ventures Blockchain Fund, Joe McCann’s new Asymmetric fund, Protocol Labs, IEX Fund, and other strategic angel investors participating, including Thomas Dohmke, CEO of GitHub, who is also joining the board.
“Madrona has invested in machine learning infrastructure and intelligent applications for almost a decade. We see a massive opportunity for Spice AI to provide a developer-first framework and intelligent data sets that unlock insights in blockchain data and enable developers to create intelligent distributed Web3 applications”
“Spice AI is building a developer first platform to create AI/ML-driven applications that harness time series data – a valuable yet difficult to harness data set for any organization. There is no ecosystem out there that is more data rich than Web3 and blockchains, but that area is currently hampered by lack of data access and infrastructure. Solving the data problem in Web3 requires deep domain knowledge and Spice AI is building the infrastructure, so developers do not have to deal with the complexity of building it themselves. Now is the time to build for Web3 and we are excited to be well capitalized to grow the team and address this gap in the market,” said Luke Kim, CEO of Spice AI.
Web3 and Spice AI
While most blockchains are public and open, extracting data from them to power apps and ML is painfully difficult. To get meaningful quantities of useful data, developers are forced to build and operate a massively complex infrastructure which includes blockchain nodes, big data systems, ETL and ML pipelines, data lakes, data warehouses, and query systems. Going one step further, developers must deeply understand the various data sources including virtual-machine logs, and the inner workings and state of smart contracts, across a broad array of blockchains, scaling layers, and dApps.
Spice.xyz, brings this together in a platform that enables developers to access web3 data across chains via SQL over high-performance Apache Arrow APIs. The platform is available in Preview today with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ethereum Name Service (ENS) datasets with work in progress to launch Solana and Polygon.
“Madrona has invested in machine learning infrastructure and intelligent applications for almost a decade. We see a massive opportunity for Spice AI to provide a developer-first framework and intelligent data sets that unlock insights in blockchain data and enable developers to create intelligent distributed Web3 applications,” said Tim Porter, Managing Director at Madrona. As part of the financing, Porter will join the Spice AI board along with Thomas Dohmke.
Deeply Developer Focused Founders
Over the last 15 years, co-founder Luke Kim has brought together the best builders and engineers across the globe to create developer focused experiences through tools and technologies used by millions worldwide. Before founding Spice AI, Luke was the founding manager and co-creator of Azure Incubations at Microsoft where he led cross-functional engineering teams to create and develop technologies like Dapr.
Co-founder Phillip LeBlanc has spent a decade building some of the largest distributed systems and big data platforms used by millions worldwide. Before co-founding Spice AI, Phillip was both an engineering manager and IC working on distributed systems at GitHub and Microsoft. Phillip has contributed to services developers use every day including GitHub Actions, Azure Active Directory and Visual Studio App Center.
“Spice AI is building the foundational platform for Web3, so developers do not have to invest in standing up their own infrastructure and in data engineering that is complex and costly, and frankly, hard to get right. Delivering real time insights from time-series data across chains powers intelligent applications being built for a wide range of industries – from addressing buying patterns in e-tail/retail all the way to fraud detection and securities trading. Since our pre-seed investment, the team continues to impress us with the focus and pace of innovation as they build this infrastructure for Web3,” added Aseem Datar, Partner at Madrona.