Founders of Open Source Project Ray Launch Anyscale with $20.6M in Funding to Democratize Distributed Programming

By Robert Nishihara   

SAN FRANCISCO – Dec. 17, 2019 – Anyscale, the distributed programming platform company, today announced $20.6M in Series A funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from NEA, Intel Capital, Amplify Partners, 11.2 Capital, and The House Fund. With the funding, Anyscale will expand its leadership team and amplify its contribution to the open source community.

With the power of Ray, Anyscale simplifies distributed programming. Applications built with Ray can easily be scaled out from a laptop to a cluster, eliminating the need for in-house distributed computing expertise and resources. Supported by a rich ecosystem of libraries and applications, Anyscale helps software developers and machine learning engineers scale their applications quickly and easily. With these tools, Anyscale removes the barriers to entry for building scalable distributed applications that have held organizations back from reaping the benefits of all the recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI)

Founded by Ray creators Robert Nishihara, Philipp Moritz, and Ion Stoica, along with University of California, Berkeley professor Michael I. Jordan, Anyscale is rapidly growing its team to drive increased adoption of the open source project to organizations and developers around the world. Companies currently using Ray include Amazon, Microsoft, Ant Financial and Intel.

“As the adoption of Ray has grown, we’ve seen it become the open source project of choice for scaling complex distributed applications from a laptop to a datacenter. As distributed computing continues to grow, the natural next step is to bring Ray to more organizations that can benefit from its capabilities,” said Robert Nishihara, co-founder and CEO, Anyscale. “Our mission is to help more developers, enterprises and organizations solve their problems without having to worry about scalable infrastructure and without needing to be experts in distributed computing. With this investment, we’ll fortify our ability to continuously improve Ray and grow our team to make this mission a reality.”

Over the past several years, the demand for machine learning engineers has exploded and, according to IDC, the amount of data created and copied annually will reach 175 zettabytes by 2025. The demand for expert resources, combined with the astronomical rise of data, means that many organizations will be unable to leverage advanced technologies like machine learning without the right tools at their disposal. With Anyscale, developers are able to easily build distributed applications, effectively leveling the playing field.

“Intel IT has been leveraging Ray to scale Python workloads with minimal code modifications,” said Moty Fania, Principal Engineer and Chief Technology Officer for Intel IT’s Enterprise and Platform Group. “With the implementation into Intel’s manufacturing and testing processes, we have found that Ray helps increase the speed and scale of our hyperparameter selection techniques and auto modeling processes used for creating personalized chip tests. For us, this has resulted in reduced costs, additional capacity and improved quality.” 

“Ray is one of the fastest-growing open source projects we’ve ever tracked, and it’s being used in production at some of the largest and most sophisticated companies,” said Ben Horowitz, cofounder and general partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “Its massive popularity is both a testament to the importance of the problem it is tackling and how well the team behind it has executed on building a product that works and does what it claims. We look forward to working with Robert, Philipp, and Ion to bringing Anyscale to users around the world.”

Ray was developed at the UC Berkeley RISELab, the successor to the AMPLab, that created Apache Spark and Databricks, which Stoica co-founded.

“Scaling applications on clusters is a daunting challenge for machine learning engineers who don’t have teams of infrastructure experts behind them. The time wasted on low-level engineering would be better spent on designing algorithms, and this is where the value of Ray comes in,” said Stoica. “As Moore’s Law has slowed down and specialized hardware such as GPUs and TPUs cannot keep pace with the enormous demands of machine learning applications, there is no better time to bring the potential of Ray to more organizations through Anyscale.”

For more information on Anyscale, visit

About a16z:
Andreessen Horowitz backs bold entrepreneurs who move fast, think big, and are committed to building the next major franchises in technology. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, the firm provides entrepreneurs with access to expertise and insights in innovation, executive and technical talent, market intelligence, business development, and marketing and brand-building. Find us in Menlo Park, Calif., and at

About Anyscale:
Anyscale is the future of distributed computing. Founded by the creators of Ray, an open source project from the UC Berkeley RISELab, Anyscale enables developers of all skill levels to easily build applications that run at any scale, from a laptop to a data center. Anyscale empowers organizations to bring AI applications to production faster, reduce development costs, and eliminate the need for in-house expertise to deploy and manage these applications. Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Anyscale is based in Berkeley, CA.

Media Contact:
Allison Stokes
fama PR for Anyscale

Ready to try Anyscale?

Access Anyscale today to see how companies using Anyscale and Ray benefit from rapid time-to-market and faster iterations across the entire AI lifecycle.