Mayfield Announces $250 Million AI Start Seed Fund and Adds New Partner

Mayfield, a top-tier early-stage venture capital firm, today announced the $250 million AI Start, the first seed fund in its history, to partner with AI-first founders starting at Day Zero. The Firm also added Vijay Reddy, an AI-focused investor with a decade of successful seed stage experience, as a dedicated AI Start Seed Fund partner.

Mayfield Launches New $250 Million AI-Specific Seed Stage Fund

Longtime venture capital firm Mayfield Fund is launching a new investment vehicle specifically to back artificial intelligence startups.

Announcing The $250 Million Mayfield AI Start Seed Fund

Today we are announcing the $250 million Mayfield AI Start, our first seed fund, out of which we will invest in AI-first founders starting at Day Zero.

2023 Mid-year Review

Sharing highlights from the past 6 months including $955 million raised across our two latest funds, founder journeys & insights, our Managing Partner’s 15th appearance on the Midas List and the Mayfield Way – it’s been a wild ride in Silicon Valley (to say the least), but we’re eternal optimists in the power of entrepreneurs to build a bright future.

MindsDB: Introducing the World’s First Cloud to Serve AI Intelligence Logic

Having worked in tech as an entrepreneur and investor for over 25 years, I remember the exuberance of the Web era of the mid to late 90s, which yielded enduring enterprise software companies. The hallmark attributes of many giants were that they had a painkiller value proposition, combined revolutionary approaches that integrated into existing architectures, and enabled enterprises to leverage their current developer resources. Today, we are squarely in the AI-first era, with enterprises rushing to adopt the benefits of AI. With the announcement of our lead investment in MindsDB’s $25 million financing round, I am proud to welcome Jorge, Adam and the MindsDB team to the Mayfield family. I believe that as the industry’s first cloud to serve AI intelligence logic, they will play a role similar to the legendary web application server BEA Systems/Oracle and supercharge enterprise adoption of AI. 

To understand the role of an AI intelligence logic cloud, we need to go back in history to look at the idea of a three tier architecture, a well-established software concept that organizes applications into three logical and physical computing tiers: the presentation tier; the application logic tier; and the data tier, where the data associated with the application is stored and managed. During the web era, the presentation tier was dominated by web servers on which websites were built; the middle tier by application logic servers which housed the logic and transaction capability; and the data tier by databases. In today’s AI-first world, there’s a lot of activity on the presentation tier with consumer interfaces powered by multiple AI frameworks; data repositories have grown beyond SQL to include many NoSQL and data lake leaders; but the middle tier of a unified cloud to serve AI intelligence logic is still nascent.

MindsDB, which grew out of an open source project started over five years ago, is growing into the must-have middle tier cloud to serve AI intelligence logic, driven by three attributes:

  • A framework- and data-agnostic stance (currently supports 10+ front end AI frameworks and 100+ data sources);
  • The technical breakthrough of adding AI tables to existing databases which enables users to identify patterns, predict trends, and train models;
  • A data-centric approach that eliminates the need for ETL and minimizes data exposure risks.

As a result, existing developers can grow into an army of AI engineers who quickly deliver production-ready applications, thereby enabling enterprises to generate revenue, but also control costs by leveraging in-house talent. 

Building on the momentum of its open-source project, MindsDB has achieved several key milestones:

  • Adding more than a hundred platform integrations, including with big tech players like OpenAI, Hugging Face, Snowflake, MongoDB, Databricks.
  • Being recognized as one of Forbes’ Top AI 50 Companies and named as a Cool Vendor in Gartner’s 2022 Data-Centric AI and multiple Hype Cycle reports.
  • Transforming into a mature open-source project with more than 500 code contributors, 16k+ stars from the community and more than one hundred thousand installations.
  • Launching a Cloud Enterprise version, proven by tens of thousands of developers.

We believe that MindsDB is well on the evolution path from open source phenomenon to a must have cloud that serves AI intelligence logic to enterprises. This will firmly establish it as a key player in the AI-first landscape, similar to how BEA powered an entire class of web apps. We are excited to partner with the MindsDB team and investors and look forward to their journey from inception to an iconic company.

 

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Announcing $955 Million Across Two New Venture Funds

Since the turn of the millennium, the tech industry has navigated a few downturns – the post-2000 Internet bust, the 2008 financial crisis – including today’s challenging times of a market slowdown and a banking crisis. Through it all, our team has been powered by two beliefs: that great companies are created in tough times and that great venture capital firms are guided by a set of values and operating principles that are independent of market conditions.