Oxford-based AI-training startup Prolific raises £25 million in a Series A funding round to build the most advanced global infrastructure for people science.

UK-based Prolific provides ethical research and AI-training via its platform. The latter is another string to the bow of the company which originally set up to provide reliable ‘people research by providing fast and easy access to verified and fairly-paid individuals, allowing researchers to be able to focus on high-quality research supported by participants who are who they say they are’. The same can now be provided to companies training AI models.

The company was founded in 2014 and become profitable in 2020. Now it has raised £25 million in a Series A funding round which is co-led by Partech and Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE).

The funds will fuel the expansion of its AI support offering to help builders ‘avoid issues like AI inaccuracy, bias and copyright challenges’.

Fresh funding also means the company can put ‘boots on the ground’ Stateside where it says over half of its customer base are. It counts Google, King’s College London, Stanford University, the European Commission, and the University of Oxford amongst its customers.

“Prolific has built an incredibly powerful online platform for research,” says Omri Benayoun, General Partner at Partech. “Its roots in academia means that it has applied the highest standards to quality, while its technical expertise brings innovation that sets it apart from anything else out there. Where others rely on manual recruitment methods, Prolific has built a research infrastructure covering everything from the recruiting and vetting of participants to integration of research tools. Prolific is poised to conquer global leadership in academia and is also perfectly placed to aid the development of AI.”

Prolific says that it has had over 22,000 researchers active on the platform in the last year and a study is launched on Prolific every 3 minutes.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Prolific has achieved already. Our platform is providing trusted insights to enable world changing research, and we’re excited to bring these advantages to new markets. AI represents one of the biggest leaps forward in technology in recent years and our unique approach to data sourcing from humans positions us to make these systems more accountable and less biased. The funding we have secured will fuel our growth in the AI space, especially in the US, bolstering our commitment to human-guided AI development during this pivotal moment in the technology’s progression,” says Phelim Bradley, CEO and co-founder, Prolific.