French startup Eden AI has raised a $1.6 million pre-seed round (€1.5 million) to build a programming interface that lets you access AI engines from multiple vendors. The company unifies those APIs and offers a simple way to try them out, and mix and match.
Over the past few years, small and large cloud vendors have been building APIs that magically process data in their cloud infrastructure using machine learning models. For instance, you can use these APIs to detect and extract text from images, recognize objects, extract keywords from a block of text, turn speech into text, translate text and more.
And yet, all those APIs aren’t perfectly equivalent. Some APIs are better than others. Some APIs work well in one language but not so well in another language. Some APIs are easier to use and implement as well.
Eden AI is building the API to rule them all. “We started as a consulting firm specialized in data science and AI,” co-founder and CEO Taha Zemmouri told me. “As consultants, we couldn’t directly recommend the best model as we had to test them first,” he added later.
The startup has established 20 partnerships with AI engine providers, such as Mindee, Dataleon, Deepgram, AssemblyAI, Rev.AI, Speechmatics and Lettria. It is also compatible with big cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
“We have created an overlay that acts as a single entry point. Switching to another provider is as easy as changing a parameter in the API,” Zemmouri said.
As pricing evolves, Eden AI also offers some flexibility as you’re no longer locked in with a single cloud vendor. On the billing side, you don’t have to open a user account with each provider. Instead, your Eden AI account lets you access all those APIs.
If you already have an account on a specific cloud, you can also add your own key to use your own account. Eden AI doesn’t charge more than what you’d get from cloud vendors. The startup takes a cut on the provider side.
Up next, the company wants to automatically select the right API for your needs. Currently, clients have to define the provider in their API calls. But you could imagine a feature that lets Eden AI pick the best route for you.
Supported by Paris-based accelerator 50 Partners, the company has raised its pre-seed round from several business angels, such as Olivier Pomel (Datadog), Nicolas Dessaigne (Algolia), Sébastien Pahl (Docker), Julien Lemoine (Algolia), Benjamin Fabre (DataDome), Laurent Letourmy (Ysance), Jean-Baptiste Aviat (Sqreen), Georges Gomes (Div Riots) and Thomas Grange (Botify).