Workday Launches Venture Capital Project To Nurture Machine Learning Startups

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Workday Ventures will work with promising, early stage startups to fuel the “next generation” of enterprise applications

HR software vendor Workday is hedging its bets on machine learning by launching a venture capital drive that will see the firm plough money into promising looking startups.

Dubbed Workday Ventures, the division will focus on rearing early- to growth-stage companies that put data science and machine learning at the centre of their approach to technology.

Workday has, in the past, invested in companies such as cloud analytics provider Tidemark and Big Data analytics vendor Datameer.

Investments

workdayBut this new venture will focus on even younger companies. Already in the line for investment are Jobr, Metanautix, ThinAir and Unbabel.

“The use of data science and machine learning to tackle business questions will be the biggest transformation to enterprise technology since the emergence of the cloud,” reckons Dan Beck, a senior vice president at Workday.

Workday is just over a decade old itself, and this year’s sales figures shows it can have plenty of cash spare to keep ahead of the trend. The firm announced total revenues of $251 million for the first quarter of its 2016 FY, an increase of 57 percent from the first quarter of 2015.

“Just as Workday led the transition from client-server to cloud applications, we are at the forefront of this data-driven shift — investing in our own architecture and applications as well as emerging companies and innovators through Workday Ventures,” said Beck.

It’s to be noted that Workday said this new direction isn’t for financial gain. Vice president Adeyemi Ajao told VentureBeat Workday Ventures will invest at a “strategic level”, which means that the venture objective is to help grow Workday’s portfolio of companies, possibly fattening them up for acquisition, and learn from startups themselves.

No financial figures of the amount of money pooled in the venture fund were disclosed by Workday.

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