Vector Database Company Zilliz Raises $60 Million Series B Extension to Expand Its Operations in Silicon Valley

Investment reaches $113 million as Zilliz sees significant global demand for its managed cloud vector database for enterprise AI—built on widely used open-source Milvus, created by Zilliz founders

Zilliz, a leading vector database company and the inventor of Milvus, announced that it has raised a $60 million extension to its initial $43 million Series B. Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth fund under Aramco Ventures, led the round, with participation from existing investors Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Hillhouse Capital, 5Y Capital, and Yunqi Capital. This brings total investment in the company to $113 million. Following the opening of its Silicon Valley headquarters, Zilliz will use this influx of funding to expand both engineering and go-to-market teams. This will enable Zilliz to double-down on its continuous commitment to open source and further enhance its managed cloud offering.

Zilliz develops high-performance vector database management systems for AI applications. Modern AI algorithms use feature vectors to represent the deep semantics of unstructured data, necessitating purpose-built data infrastructure to manage and process them at scale. Zilliz is at the forefront of this mission, providing the vector database that is both cloud native and capable of processing billion-scale vector data in milliseconds.

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“Zilliz’s journey to this point started with the creation of Milvus, an open-source vector database that eventually joined the LF AI & Data Foundation as a top-level project,” said Charles Xie, founder and CEO of Zilliz. “Milvus has now become the world’s most popular open-source vector database with over a thousand end-users. We will continue to serve as a primary contributor and committer to Milvus and deliver on our promise to provide a fully managed vector database service on public cloud with the security, reliability, ease of use, and affordability that enterprises require.”

This fully managed offering is currently in private preview for early access on Zilliz Cloud, available by invitation to customers for testing and feedback before becoming more broadly available. The long-term vision for Zilliz Cloud is to be a fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) that provides an integrated platform for vector data processing, unstructured data analytics, and enterprise AI application development.

“With its leadership on Milvus, Zilliz is a global leader in vector similarity search on massive amounts of unstructured data,” said Aysar Tayeb, Executive Managing Director of Prosperity7 Ventures. “We believe that the company is in a strong position to build a cloud platform around Milvus that will unleash new and powerful business insights and outcomes for its customers, just as data analytics platforms like Databricks and Snowflake have done with structured data. There is already over 4x more unstructured data than structured data, a gap that will continue to grow as AI, robotics, IoT, and other technologies meld the digital and physical realms.”

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Highlights of Zilliz’s growth in the past year include the company:

  • Doubling-down on the Milvus community and demonstrating tremendous user growth: downloads crossed the one million mark, tripling from 300,000 downloads a year ago; production users grew by 300%; Github stargazers grew 200% to over 11,000; the number of contributors doubled;
  • Streamlining the computation of feature vectors and significantly reducing the end-to-end development time of vector database applications with the creation of Towhee, a highly efficient open-source framework for vector data ETL in the era of AI;
  • Pushing the boundaries of vector search algorithms by winning the BigANN challenge at NeurIPS 2021, the first global competition focused on developing new and innovative approaches to billion-scale vector search; and
  • Breaking new ground on the database research frontier, first in ACM SIGMOD 2021 and then in VLDB 2022.
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