Julia Computing bags grant worth $910K

Julia Computing—a US- and Bengaluru-based developer of an open source computing language for data, analytics, algorithmic trading, machine learning and artificial intelligence—has been granted $910,000 (around Rs 5.8 crore) by New York-based not-for-profit institution Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The startup will use the grant for the development of open source programming language Julia. The grant will also support training, adoption, usability, compilation, package development, tooling and documentation, the company said in a statement.

Besides, a part of the grant worth $160,000 will be used to create a new position—designated as full-time director of diversity initiatives—besides supporting scholarships, training, workshops, hackathons and webinars, it said.

“Diversity of backgrounds increases diversity of ideas. With this grant, the Sloan Foundation is setting a new standard of support for diversity which we hope will be emulated throughout STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” said Viral Shah, co-founder and CEO of Julia Computing.

The grant comes barely a week after the firm raised $4.6 million (Rs 30 crore) in seed funding from US-based investment firms General Catalyst and Founder Collective.

Julia Computing was founded in 2015 by the creators of the Julia language, including Indian-origin Shah and Deepak Vinchhi along with Keno Fischer, Alan Edelman, Jeff Bezanson and Stefan Karpinski.

The company claims Julia’s adoption is growing rapidly in finance, insurance, energy, robotics, genomics and aerospace, among other fields.

Julia, which is said to have seen over 1 million downloads and 161% annual growth, is one of the top 10 programming languages used on GitHub, a popular web-based version control repository and internet hosting service.

Julia combines the functionalities of other programming languages such as Python, R, Matlab and SAS with the speed of C++ and Java and delivers significant improvements in productivity, the startup claims.

Julia programmers have been hired by companies such as Amazon, Apple, BlackRock, Capital One, Comcast, Disney, Facebook, Ford, Google and Uber hire Julia programmers, it claims.

Founded by industrialist Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., Alfred P. Sloan Foundation makes grants in support of research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economics.

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