Ray Creators Launch Distributed Programming Firm Anyscale with $20.6M in Funding

Ray Creators Launch Distributed Programming Firm Anyscale with $20.6M in FundingThe founders of project Ray, an open source project developed at the UC Berkeley RISELab, the successor to the AMPLab that created Apache Spark and Databricks, have founded a new company named Anyscale with $20.6 million in funding. With the funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Anyscale intends to expand its leadership team and amplify its contribution to the open source community.

With the power of Ray, Anyscale would simplify distributed programming. Applications built with Ray can “easily” be scaled out from a laptop to a data center, eliminating the need for in-house distributed computing expertise and resources. Companies currently using Ray include Amazon, Microsoft, Ant Financial, and Intel.

“Ray is one of the fastest-growing open source projects we’ve ever tracked, and it’s being used in production at some of the largest and most sophisticated companies,” said Ben Horowitz, cofounder and general partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “Its massive popularity is both a testament to the importance of the problem it is tackling and how well the team behind it has executed on building a product that works and does what it claims. We look forward to working with Robert, Philipp, and Ion to bringing Anyscale to users around the world.”

Developers, Machine Learning

Robert Nishihara
“As the adoption of Ray has grown, we’ve seen it become the open source project of choice for scaling complex distributed applications from a laptop to a datacenter,” said Robert Nishihara, co-founder and CEO of Anyscale.

Supported by a rich ecosystem of libraries and applications, Anyscale would help software developers and machine learning engineers scale their applications quickly and easily. With these tools, Anyscale removes the barriers to entry for building scalable distributed applications that have held organizations back from reaping the benefits of all the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

 Led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the $20.6 million Series A funding also saw participation from NEA, Intel Capital, Ant Financial, Amplify Partners, 11.2 Capital, and The House Fund.

Founded by Ray creators Robert Nishihara, Philipp Moritz, and Ion Stoica, along with University of California, Berkeley professor Michael I. Jordan, Anyscale is rapidly growing its team to drive increased adoption of the open source project to organizations and developers around the world.

“As the adoption of Ray has grown, we’ve seen it become the open source project of choice for scaling complex distributed applications from a laptop to a datacenter,” said Robert Nishihara, co-founder and CEO of Anyscale. “As distributed computing continues to grow, the natural next step is to bring Ray to more organizations that can benefit from its capabilities. Our mission is to help more developers, enterprises and organizations solve their problems without having to worry about scalable infrastructure and without needing to be experts in distributed computing. With this investment, we’ll fortify our ability to continuously improve Ray and grow our team to make this mission a reality.”

Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Anyscale is based in Berkeley, CA. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) provides entrepreneurs with access to expertise and insights in innovation, executive and technical talent, market intelligence, business development, and marketing and brand-building.

“Intel IT has been leveraging Ray to scale Python workloads with minimal code modifications,” said Moty Fania, Principal Engineer and Chief Technology Officer for Intel IT’s Enterprise and Platform Group. “With the implementation into Intel’s manufacturing and testing processes, we have found that Ray helps increase the speed and scale of our hyperparameter selection techniques and auto modeling processes used for creating personalized chip tests. For us, this has resulted in reduced costs, additional capacity and improved quality.”

Furlow consulting