The Seattle startup acts a marketplace where companies can buy algorithms that developers are selling.
What: Algorithmia, a Seattle marketplace for buying and selling algorithms
Who: Kenny Daniel, co-founder and chief technical officer
Buy and sell: Algorithmia lets developers of algorithms, or sets of operations performed by a computer, sell the programs to businesses. It saves the companies time. “A lot of it is avoiding reinventing the wheel,” Daniel said.
Color the past: One algorithm on the marketplace is the colorizer, developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and used to fill in colors on historic black and white images. The creators put it on Algorithmia, where it added color to a million images in the first week.
Missing link: Daniel saw it often in grad school — researchers would create algorithms, publish information and speak about them at a conference. But then the algorithm never went anywhere; there was a link missing between academia and industry. Businesses needed a way to hear about the research. “That was frustrating to me, personally,” he said.
College connection: Daniel met co-founder Diego Oppenheimer at Carnegie Mellon University when the pair were undergraduates. They reconnected on the West Coast after graduation and started the company.
Growing marketplace: Algorithmia launched in 2014 and is now home to more than 2,700 algorithms. More than 34,000 developers and customers use the site. Algorithmia takes a 30 percent commission on sales. Each algorithm generally sells to more than one customer.
Tech in the market: Algorithmia and its 13-employee team set up shop at Pike Place Market. The company has raised $2.6 million from investors, including Madrona Venture Group and Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
— Rachel Lerman