Kolena, an AI and machine learning model testing pioneer, has successfully secured $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Lobby Capital, bringing the total funding for the company to an impressive $21 million. Returning investors such as SignalFire, Bloomberg Beta, 11.2 Capital, Zero Prime Ventures, and others also participated in this significant investment.
The funds will be used to advance Kolena’s mission to revolutionize AI system testing and validation, ensuring trustworthiness and reliability in an AI-driven world.
Kolena’s innovative platform empowers enterprises and teams to rapidly create highly specific test cases from their AI model’s data sets, facilitating the evaluation of each model’s effectiveness across various scenarios and applications. This fine-grained testing approach aids in identifying unexpected model behavior, such as biased hiring algorithms, false positives, or misclassifications in critical healthcare applications, among other potential failure modes.
The platform also enables teams and enterprises to expedite the deployment of their AI models by eliminating the need for time-consuming experimentation-based testing. Kolena’s solution is designed for a wide range of AI domains, including computer vision, generative AI, natural language processing, LLMs (Large Language Models), and multi-modal models.
Mohamed Elgendy, CEO, and Co-founder of Kolena, expressed excitement about the funding, stating, “We are thrilled to have secured $21 million in funding to further accelerate our efforts to enable AI developers around the world to build reliable AI systems. This investment will allow us to invest in research and development to build a systematic and rigorous AI quality framework along with toolings that empower businesses to build AI systems that society can trust, thereby accelerating AI adoption.”
Enterprises worldwide have been cautious about fully embracing AI without a comprehensive solution for rigorously testing and validating AI systems for robustness, fairness, factualness, and bias. High-profile AI failures in the media have underscored the urgent need for Kolena’s standardized and rigorous framework for AI quality assurance, providing unparalleled visibility into a model’s real-world performance.
Eric Carlborg, Founder of Lobby Capital, emphasized the importance of Kolena’s solution, stating, “Unpredictable behavior by AI and ML models is a key constraint holding back more widespread AI adoption. Enterprises cannot risk deploying a model without assurance that it is safe, reliable, and fair. Kolena’s solution solves both of these fundamental challenges, bringing rigor and visibility to the testing process that goes far beyond ‘statistical accuracy’ while simultaneously transforming testing from an inefficient manual process into a true engineering discipline.”
Kolena has already achieved remarkable success with its innovative approach. Several Fortune 500 companies, leading AI startups, government organizations, and European AI standardization institutes have adopted Kolena’s solution, resulting in improved AI system performance and enhanced trust among their customers. The company also supports AI testing for military applications worldwide.
Oana Olteanu, Venture Partner at SignalFire, commented on Kolena’s potential to become an industry standard, saying, “Given the team’s deep insight into the pain points involved in model testing, we believe that Kolena’s platform will become the industry standard in the near future. By enabling enterprises and developers to reduce time spent by up to 50% versus experimentation-based testing while eliminating 60% – 80% of model failures in production within the first few weeks of adoption, Kolena is poised to become a foundational piece of the global AI ecosystem.”
Mohamed Elgendy concluded, “As AI continues to transform various industries, Kolena is committed to leading the charge in the model testing space to contribute to the development and deployment of trustworthy AI systems. With the support of this significant funding, we will continue to innovate, improve, and revolutionize the way AI is built.”