Introducing Our Latest Investment: Coactive AI

Greycroft
5 min readMay 21, 2024

Brentt Baltimore

We are excited to announce our investment in Coactive AI, a leading multimodal application platform for unstructured visual data.

At Greycroft, we have a deep understanding of the challenges that unstructured visual data presents for enterprises in consumer sectors like social media, retail/e-commerce, and entertainment. We have had the privilege of collaborating with several generations of Founders in the visual data space and forging partnerships with leading enterprises that rely on visual data.

We believe that the latest advancements in AI and data-centric modeling will streamline inefficiencies in the visual sectors, removing longstanding cost barriers to modernization and enabling net new value capture.

As we at Greycroft explored opportunities within the multimodal landscape, we came across the data-centric industry research that Cody Coleman and Will Gaviria Rojas have spearheaded. The more we got to know Cody, Will, and the Coactive team, the more inspired we became not only by their exceptional product offering, but also by the sincerity of their culture-led vision. We are honored to partner with the Coactive team and are excited to work alongside an outstanding investor group in support of the Coactive team and customer base.

We thank Cody, Will, and the rest of Coactive squad for their trust and look forward to the amazing journey ahead! Read on to learn more about why we’re so excited about Coactive’s path forward.

Market Opportunity

Over 80% of enterprise data is in an unstructured format, like text, image, and video. Extracting, organizing, and analyzing unstructured data is challenging because it does not adhere to a data model and does not fit neatly into a relational database.

One of the fastest growing subcategories in unstructured data is visual data. Visual content is a significant driver of consumer internet traffic and mode of interaction for both consumers and enterprises. Images and video give us the clearest and deepest contextual understanding of the products and services we want to consume and engage with.

Problem Set

Despite the significance of visual data and its growing volume, enterprises have struggled to extract its full value at scale. The world’s largest consumer sectors, including UGC, retail/e-commerce, social, media, and gaming, among others, are in a cost-of-ownership quandary with two parts:

Part 1: These businesses depend on creative processes crucial for product development but don’t yet have the tools to reuse, remix, and repackage these workflows at scale. As a result, manual workflows are repeated, generating an ever-expanding repository of visual data that is challenging to manage, govern, and search.

Part 2: Many repositories of visual data today are considered cost centers, not revenue-generating assets.

Sophisticated enterprises have tried to tackle this problem for some time. To make the data useful, they pay to manually label the data, load it into a database, and then further index it before using supervised machine learning to drive interactions. This approach is inaccurate, costly, and typically results in a frustrating end-user experience.

Enter Coactive AI

Coactive turns the cost of ownership quandary on its head by introducing an entirely new paradigm for visual data. Coactive’s multimodal application platform enables and scales enterprise visual data workflows by programmatically structuring and providing context to image and video data. Enterprises can leverage Coactive’s system to efficiently label, govern, and structure their visual assets at scale. Coactive’s proprietary active learning system and models empower data teams to work with large volumes of image and video data without a machine learning PhD. Once structured, visual data can be analyzed and used to drive business outcomes that enterprises have been trying to enable for decades.

Enterprises capture an ever-growing ocean of visual data. Coactive can address longstanding data management inefficiencies within these enterprises and modernize their infrastructure, fundamentally shifting the cost-value dynamics of their businesses. Coactive is a first of its kind solution that enables enterprises to leverage cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence, embeddings, and systems.

The magic of Coactive’s intelligent search at work. Customers can execute analytics queries that were previously not possible, like trend analysis. Visual data becomes a strategic asset

Culture-first, Amazing Technologists

Co-founders Cody Coleman and Will Gaviria Rojas are world class technologists with impressive track records at eBay, Google, Facebook, and Pinterest. Their approach to unstructured data is informed by Cody’s work on DAWNBench and MLPerf during his PhD in computer science at Stanford, where he was advised by Matei Zaharia (co-founder of Databricks and co-creator of Apache Spark) and Will’s work on DataPerf and extensive data-centric ML research.

Over the last year, Greycroft has experienced the strong culture Cody and Will are building at Coactive, underpinned values our organizations share, like teamwork and integrity. We are honored to co-lead Coactive’s Series B, and we look forward to supporting their team and customers in the years to come.

Disclaimer: This publication was prepared solely for informational purposes and should not be viewed as a current or past recommendation or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The information included herein is based on the opinions of the authors and nothing shall, or is intended to, constitute investment, financial, legal, accounting, or tax advice by the authors or Greycroft. This publication contains forward-looking statements, which are based on beliefs, assumptions and expectations that may change as a result of many possible events or other factors. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and undue reliance should not be placed thereon. The information in this document has been developed internally and/or obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Greycroft does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such information. Greycroft does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date on which such statements were made. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by Greycroft, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Greycroft is available at https://www.greycroft.com/investments/.

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Greycroft

A seed-to-growth venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build the world’s most transformative companies.