UPDATED 14:15 EDT / APRIL 10 2024


Sapien raises $5M to gamify data labeling for AI models

Sapien AI Corp., a data labeling company, today announced it raised $5 million in a seed funding round to build out its service of providing high-quality annotation and labeling for training artificial intelligence models.

A startup founded in 2023, Sapien helps companies build better AI models by providing a marketplace for premium human-labeled training data. The company states that its platform uses a “gamified” approach to the data labeling experience with blockchain-based rewards, such as crypto tokens, that incentivize human labelers to deliver accurate notations.

The seed funding round attracted investments from Animoca Ventures, Primitive Ventures, Artichoke Capital and Yield Guild Games. Animoca Ventures is particularly well known in the industry for being the investment arm of Animoca Brands Corporation Ltd., a Hong Kong-based game software company that initially focused on developing mobile games, but then shifted to blockchain gaming.

Gamification is the process of adding gamelike elements to something that is otherwise tedious, along with a reward system, to encourage participation. A majority of models created today require humans to manually annotate data in a way that allows them to make more accurate decisions, but the task of doing so can be extremely slow and plodding. The process involves adding labels to raw data such as images, text or audio to supply additional context.

Sapien says its platform has more than 1 million labelers who live in over 73 countries and speak more than 235 languages and dialects, giving its service broad multilingual capabilities. It can also provide human intelligence from individuals with advanced subject matter experience in industries such as medical, legal, educational technology and more for annotation purposes.

“This funding will allow us to expand our team, expand our frontend labeling infrastructure, and provide better quality data for our growing list of enterprise customers,” said Sapien co-founder Trevor Koverko.

The company said that its platform is used by a wide range of paying customers in the AI industry including healthcare, education and leading large language models.

“Sapien’s innovative approach to data labeling, which combines advanced technology with human expertise, sets them apart in the industry,” said James Ho, head of Animoca Ventures. “We believe the team’s deep understanding of the market and their commitment to customer success will make them an ideal partner for companies looking to train their AI models with the best data possible.”

Image: ShutterStock/Production Perig

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