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Kaggle raises $11 Million in Series A of Funding
Kaggle, the San Francisco – based company which develops crowdsourcing competitions, has recently announced the end of the series A of funding which has brought the company the amount of $11 million. This funding round has been led by Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Stanford University’s endowment, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Google chief economist Hal Varian and Applied Semantics’ (now Google Adsense) co-founder Gil Elbaz were also participants to this funding round. As a result of this funding round, Neil Rimer, the partner at Index Ventures, is going to join Kaggle’s board of directors. Also, Max Levchin has been named the chairman of the company.
Anthony Goldbloom, Kaggle’s founder, stated the following: “We’re really making big data into a sport.”
Kaggle in activating in the crowdsourcing field and it is focused on a competition niche, hosting contests such as the following: + A contest whose purpose is that of predicting the patients who are to be admitted in the hospital in the following 12 months based on a report of the previous claims. At the moment, this is one of the most popular contests, which has over 1.000 participants and a prize of $3 million in stake. They also host a + A contest which is meant to improve the credit scoring by predicting the probability that a person is going to face financial problems in the 24 months to come. The prize for this one is of only $5000.
The company has been founded by Anthony Goldbloom and Jeremy Howard, both original from Australia. In order to function, Kaggle applies a fee to the organizations who host competitions on their site and it hopes to take a cut of the prize money. The company also intends to start hosting private competitions for companies in the near future. This would apply to those private companies that do not want to publicly post their data sets. Concerning the participants, Kaggle declared that it has recruited only elite participants which they have asked to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to have the chance to compete in the contests.
Anthony Goldbloom, one of the co-founders of the company, has stated the following: “The incomes of data scientists begin to look more like tennis or golf players or hedge fund managers, rather than sitting in the bowels of Allstate’s actuarial team.”
From its statements, it seems that Kaggle has now more than 17K PhD level competitors in active contests. The purpose of the company is that of hosting enough competitions as to allow data scientists to rely on the company in order to assure their full-time incomes. The plan for the months to come include announcing a new set of competitions and inviting some of the brightest players activating on the site to compete in private competitions. The fact is that the winners of the private competitions are getting bigger amounts of money, but the fact is that all players who are included in private competitions are guaranteed to receive prize money simply for participating.
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