Leading companies including Ramp, Vital, and Whatnot pick Chalk’s data platform to power risk, recommendation, and healthcare decisions
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Chalk, the data platform for machine learning, announced today that it has raised $10 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst, Unusual Ventures, and Xfund. Chalk’s computation layer and LLM toolchain enable world-class teams to orchestrate data for real-time decisions. The capital will be used to accelerate development of Chalk’s platform, reach new customers, and grow its engineering and go-to-market teams.
Chalk’s data platform provides critical building blocks for real-time machine learning–a compute engine, an LLM toolchain, a feature store, integrated monitoring, and branches for data science experimentation. Incumbent technologies like Apache Spark and Databricks Runtime were designed for large, long-running jobs, not live traffic. However, fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, insurance, and other mission critical applications require real-time decisions that incorporate fresh data.
Existing tools are cumbersome–data teams are forced to pull pre-computed warehouse data into production which leads to stale answers and split pipelines between training and inference. By contrast, Chalk enables developers to dynamically fetch data from APIs, microservices, and transactional databases. Already, Chalk is trusted by teams like Melio, Mission Lane, Pipe, Ramp, Vital, Whatnot, and others to support their most critical decisions.
Ramp, the ultimate platform for modern finance teams, selected Chalk to power core lending and fraud models. “Chalk has become a critical component of our Risk Intelligence Platform. It expanded Ramp’s capabilities with online machine learning and enabled us to scale safely by powering our transaction fraud model and credit underwriting process,” said Ryan Delgado who leads Ramp’s Data Platform.
Vital, a leading AI-driven digital health company, selected Chalk to power critical patient decisions. “Emergency room decisions can mean life or death for patients. Chalk powers these most critical predictions for us. We evaluated a wide range of technical solutions and Chalk stood out for having the very best developer experience at the most competitive cost,” said Te Riu Warren, Vital CTO.
Co-Founders Andrew Moreland and Elliot Marx met at Stanford and have been working together ever since. After Stanford, Moreland went to Palantir and Marx worked at Affirm where he built the early data platform to support their buy-now-pay-later decisions. They then started Haven Money which Credit Karma acquired to power its banking products. At Credit Karma, they wound up building the same type of machine learning platform yet again.
“We deeply understand the pain points and workflows that make machine learning challenging, and we’ve applied those lessons here at Chalk,” said Marx. Moreland continued, “Existing tools in this space have painful and cumbersome developer experiences. Instead of relying on dated technologies like Spark, we built Chalk from the ground up to provide a seamless experience our users love.”
Marc Freed-Finnegan, Chalk’s Co-Founder + CEO, helped launch the first version of Google Wallet and started Index which Stripe acquired as its in-store payment solution– it’s now called Stripe Terminal. “We’re lucky to have the backing of many long-term partners here at Chalk. At my last company, Eric Schmidt led our Series A and General Catalyst led our Series B–they both joined us here as investors. At Andy and Elliot’s last company, Unusual Ventures led their Seed and joined us again here. Their expertise was essential to us in the past and has been invaluable at Chalk.”
“Backing Chalk was an easy decision for us,” said Max Rimpel, Partner at General Catalyst. “The opportunity to build a modern data platform that can be applied to many different industries is enormous and we see the benefits of backing experienced founders–especially ones we’ve backed before. We share a common vision to reshape the landscape of machine learning and data science, and believe Chalk’s team is well-equipped to achieve this. General Catalyst looks forward to supporting the team as they continue to grow.”
Chalk is a data platform that powers machine learning and generative AI. Chalk’s best-in-class developer experience enables data teams to declare features and their dependencies with idiomatic Python in online, streaming, and batch environments. Chalk compiles these definitions into parallel pipelines that run on a Rust-based engine. These pipelines use the exact same source code to serve temporally-consistent training sets to data scientists and live feature values to models. This re-use ensures that feature values from online and offline contexts match and dramatically cuts development time. With Chalk, engineers, data scientists, and analysts can focus on their unique products while Chalk seamlessly handles data infrastructure.
To learn more about Chalk, visit www.chalk.ai.
About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, London, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Samsara, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.