Deepset raises $30m to help the world’s biggest companies leverage LLM promise.

The round was led by Balderton, with participation from existing investors GV, System.One, Lunar Ventures and Harpoon Ventures.

Founded in 2018 by Milos Rusic, Malte Pietsch and Timo Möller, deepset solves one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today – how to use their own data more quickly, more easily and at scale.

deepset helps organisations tap into the potential of today’s most advanced and promising technology, large language models (LLMs). Enterprises who don’t have full expertise or time to build their own LLM platform can use deepset Cloud to harness the power of natural language processing (NLP) to build their own LLM-enabled applications.

The pace of change in the power of LLMs is remarkable, but to date there has been a lot of testing without the tools needed to get applications into production. deepset Cloud and Haystack provide the tools and platform for enterprises to develop powerful new AI applications transparently and securely on their own terms.

James Wise Partner, Balderton

deepset Cloud can solve the organisational problems inherent in building bespoke LLM-powered applications by assisting AI engineers, software engineers and product managers to adapt rapid iteration methodology to NLP and consequently develop applications in a standardised, predictable manner. Since deepset Cloud makes it easy for the product team to establish a proper software development life cycle it can reduce time-to-market dramatically and help organisations to stay model-agnostic.

The data dilemma

Until now, enterprises and their employees have had to rely on basic keyword-based searches when trying to find information from their unstructured data — document collections, reports, insights and other textual information. In 2015, enterprises created 30% of the total data worldwide and by 2025, this share is expected to double. For companies sitting on a mountain of data, searching, retrieving, summarising, discovering and analysing textual data quickly and accurately is one of the biggest challenges they face and only increasing.

LLMs are machine learning models capable of applying their learnings in seconds to solve a variety of business problems. They can be trained and scaled to develop linguistic intuition and semantics, so that they can synthesise information, summarise, compare and present understandable responses. While enterprises can see the value of such a tool, building LLM applications without the right expertise is a significant hurdle, even for enterprises with established AI teams. deepset helps companies to overcome this challenge, without relying on one single proprietary model that does not offer the customisability and nuance that enterprises need.

deepset Cloud, which is SOC2 certified, removes the barriers to entry for enterprises wanting to build their own LLM apps without sacrificing performance, sovereignty, data protection or customer trust.

Enterprises can see huge benefits from leveraging LLM technology. At deepset, we’re providing a platform that helps to bridge the decades of research in machine learning and computer science into production-ready applications. In the same way you don’t need to know much about microchip architecture to write software, you don’t need to be an NLP or LLM scientific researcher to use our Haystack framework and deepset Cloud.

Milos Rusic co-founder and CEO, Deepset

First-mover advantage

deepset’s founders Milos Rusic, Malte Pietsch and Timo Möller first spotted the potential of natural language processing to transform enterprise back in 2018. Having seen barriers to building LLM apps first-hand, the team wanted to bridge the gap between the potential LLMs can bring to enterprises, with the fast-paced and complex nature of the technology and research.

deepset launched its Haystack framework in December 2019 to help enterprises put NLP applications, and now LLMs into production. They added deepset Cloud – a cloud-based LLM developer platform for AI teams – in April last year. The company works with enterprises across the UK, Europe and the US and its team now consists of 50 people. The funding will be used to continue developing the Haystack framework – which has seen a 250% increase in active users – and deepset Cloud product, while continuing the company’s international expansion.

This latest funding round takes the total raised by the Berlin-based firm to $46m. deepset has also secured backing from experienced founders in open source, including Alex Ratner (Snorkel AI), Mustafa Suleyman (Deepmind & Inflection), Spencer Kimball (Cockroach Labs), Jeff Hammerbacher (Cloudera) and Emil Eifrem (Neo4j).

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