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Long-Term Memory for an AI-Powered World: Our Investment in Pinecone

ICONIQ Growth is proud to announce its partnership with Pinecone, the vector database company providing long-term memory for AI.

Pinecone Founder & CEO, Edo Liberty

Long-Term Memory for an AI-Powered World: Our Investment in Pinecone

ICONIQ Growth is proud to announce its partnership with Pinecone, the vector database company providing long-term memory for AI.

Pinecone Founder & CEO, Edo Liberty

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One of the most awe-inspiring stories of our day is how breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence — especially generative AI applications based on large language models — have recently achieved almost-incomprehensibly magical results in art, coding, healthcare, music, science, and more.

However, while most individuals can marvel at the enormous opportunities ahead, not everyone can yet wield the truly awesome power of these tools today. The ability to build AI applications is still limited to a relatively small number of machine learning engineers whose work is inhibited by a myriad of constraints, including the inability to find and use the vast majority of an organization’s data to inform and train their models. In order for generative AI to optimize its potential, more people and more organizations — not just the largest tech companies in the world — must be capable of building their own AI applications. And in order for that to happen, more of the world’s data must be expressed in the language of AI: vector embeddings.

So that is why today, ICONIQ Growth is proud to announce our partnership with Pinecone, the vector database company providing long-term memory for AI. Along with Andreessen Horowitz and previous investors Menlo Ventures and Wing Venture Capital, as well as experienced operators we have been fortunate to partner with in the past, including Bret Taylor (former President & Co-CEO, Salesforce), Bob Muglia (former CEO, Snowflake), and Olivier Pomel (Co-founder & CEO, Datadog), ICONIQ Growth is investing in Pinecone’s $100 million Series B. 

Pinecone is a core component of the infrastructure stack underpinning AI-powered applications that search and rank results based on similarity. With Pinecone, engineers and data scientists can build vector-based AI applications that are accurate, fast, and scalable, and get them into production quickly. 

Meeting the growing demand for AI 

According to McKinsey, as of 2022, 50% of surveyed organizations reported having adopted AI in at least one business unit or function. International Data Corporation says global spending on AI, including software, hardware, and services for AI-centric systems is expected to double in three years to $300 billion in 2026. The newer, fast-growing slice of AI—generative AI—is expected to grow 35.6% per year and reach $109 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research. 

The unbridled growth of AI and the need for vector-based databases attracted our attention, but we became more enthusiastic about investing in Pinecone after meeting its founder and CEO, Edo Liberty, as well as Bob Wiederhold, President and COO, and the entire Pinecone team. They bring deep domain expertise from years building similar technologies at Amazon, Couchbase, Databricks, Splunk, and Yahoo. 

The early Pinecone team founded the company with the goal of giving every company access to the same sophisticated AI tools and infrastructure as tech behemoths. “The biggest and most successful AI and machine learning-driven products in the world—search at Google, product recommendations at Amazon, feed-ranking at Facebook and TikTok—are powered by vector search,” Edo says, “But most companies can’t afford to build those solutions. Pinecone makes accurate, reliable, and scalable generative AI accessible to organizations of all sizes.”

Edo intimately understands the industry’s most advanced AI and machine learning systems because he designed, built and led some of them: Prior to starting Pinecone, he was Director of Research at Amazon Web Services and Head of Amazon AI Labs; previously he was Senior Research Director at Yahoo, where he focused on scalable machine learning and data mining for critical applications. He earned a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Yale and published more than 70 academic papers on algorithms and machine learning systems. 

Helping data speak the language of AI: Vector embeddings

AI understands the world as arrays of numbers, known as vectors. These vectors are the input and output of machine learning models. That’s why the first step in almost any machine learning project is to “embed” or convert data objects such as images, text, music, videos, etc. into numbers.

Translating data objects into the language of AI

What is a vector database?

Courtesy of Pinecone

Machine learning is able to deliver such impressive results because the system can consume more types and quantities of data from multiple sources at once and process them across thousands of dimensions. Traditional databases—where data is more rigid and stored in siloed records, files and tables—were simply not made for multi-dimensional computing. But there is hope: advancements in large language models allow you to convert your data into embeddings that can be stored and made available in vector databases — a complex task Pinecone streamlines and delivers for its customers.

Turning “dark” data into valuable insights

The potential impact of transforming all data into vector databases is staggering. How much smarter and more successful would you be if you could instantly access every single thing you’ve ever learned or experienced precisely at the moment when you needed to make a decision or offer a thoughtful response? Now expand that idea to massive scale: Imagine indexing the entire internet to have the answers to all of your most abstract questions at your fingertips.

However, today, the vast majority of data in the world is inaccessible, or “dark,” because it is stored in an unstructured way. As much as 80% of the world’s data is unstructured, according to IDC. Large language models transform dark data into vectors. Pinecone’s vector databases make it possible for the data to be stored, seen and understood so that it can be used for semantic search, chatbots, ranking and recommendation engines, anomaly detection, and more.

Expanding access to AI creation

The elegance of Pinecone lies in its simplicity. Pinecone handles the difficult parts of machine learning — vector math, the job of building and testing similarity search algorithms, etc. — so you can focus on developing applications that serve your needs.“One of the things we are driven by is how simple can we make this?” Edo says. “Can we make this completely plug-and-play? Can we make it so you can just drop in your data and run queries and not worry about anything?”

Making AI more accessible is especially important given the shortage of machine learning specialists. By some reports, software engineers outnumber ML engineers by approximately 30 million engineers to 500,000 ML specialists. Pinecone’s team has made it their mission to expand access to AI creation and help all developers discover, explore, and build with vector databases.

Building vector databases is hard; performance + reliability is harder

While its ease-of-use helps developers get started quickly, Pinecone’s long-term value lies in its performance. Customers include some of the world’s most innovative companies, such as Gong, HubSpot, Shopify, and Zapier. Pinecone’s most ardent customers rave about its simplicity, reliability, and measurable ROI. This kind of work — high-dimensional geometry, rounding and clustering data in different ways — is so ground-breaking that many of these techniques are still in research. Doing all of this in real time, at scale, means marrying algorithms and math with super high performance code. 

“We are constantly grappling with the edges of physics and computer science and math and how computers fundamentally work to make the impossible possible” Edo says. “As an engineer myself, if something always does what I want in a predictable way and I don’t have to worry about it, I sleep better at night.”

Through our investments in data and developer infrastructure tools like Alteryx, Collibra, Datadog, Dataiku, dbt Labs, Fivetran, Gitlab, HashiCorp, Hightouch, Monte Carlo and Snowflake the ICONIQ Growth team has developed an appreciation for the major tectonic shift underway as the world reorients their strategic priority towards embracing new AI-powered capabilities that leverage large estates of data. 

Pinecone’s innovations enable people at the forefront of AI applications to design and run ambitious, creative programs at scale. Having talked extensively to customers and industry experts, we are convinced that vector databases will become the cornerstone of every AI-powered application. We are excited to support Pinecone and partner with Edo, Bob and the entire team as Pinecone becomes a foundational element of many of the world’s most magical AI experiences to come. 

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision. This presentation is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which will only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including, without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein. Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is prohibited. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ.The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision. This presentation is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which will only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including, without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein. Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is prohibited. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Disclaimer:

Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth (“ICONIQ" or the “Firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision. Information used in this presentation was obtained from numerous sources. Certain of these companies are portfolio companies of ICONIQ Growth. ICONIQ Growth does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information obtained from these sources. 

This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services.  Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein. 

Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized.

This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ.

Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information.

All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Numbers or amounts herein may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations.

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision.  This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein.  Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation. Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you.

ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

Copyright © 2024 ICONIQ Capital, LLC. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision.  This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein.  Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation. Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you.

ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

Copyright © 2024 ICONIQ Capital, LLC. All rights reserved.

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