Natural language processing company (NLP) Hugging Face has announced it raised $15 million in funding in a round led by Lux Capital, and with participation from A.Capital, Betaworks, Richard Socher, Greg Brockman, and NBA star Kevin Durant.
Hugging Face originally launched a chatbot app back in 2017 that allowed users to generate a digital friend to text back and forth with. The app tried to detect users’ emotions and tailor its responses based on their feelings.
More recently, the company has found success through the massive popularity of Transformers, its open source natural language processing library on GitHub. The framework, which has now been downloaded over 1 million times, has gained over 19 thousand ‘stars’ on GitHub.
In a recent post on Medium, VC Brandon Reeves from Lux Capital wrote that “More than 1,000 companies are using Hugging Face’s technology in production across applications such as text classification, information extraction, summarization, sentiment analysis, text generation and conversational artificial intelligence. The models and API’s are used by startups to some of the largest tech companies with open source contributors spanning researchers from Google, Microsoft, Facebook and many more.”
Hugging Face also announced that with the money acquired from this latest funding round, it plans to triple its workforce at its offices in New York and Paris.