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Data has always been at the heart of every program, and even more so these days as data feeds machine learning and large language models, but connecting to those databases has been a constant struggle for developers.
Neurelo, an early-stage startup, emerged today with a solution to help solve that problem by creating a programming interface that sits between the database and the application. They do this by creating customized APIs based on the individual data model that a developer has built, greatly simplifying the interaction between the database and the application — and it’s all automated.
The company has raised $5 million in seed funding to build on this vision.
Co-founder and CEO Chirag Shah previously spent time at MongoDB, where he was in charge of the database company’s product team. It was there where he learned directly from developers the problems they faced solving this issue.
“We realized that the third bastion of database evolution is this programming interface because that’s where all the problems still remain,” Shah told TechCrunch. Some larger tech companies like Facebook with the means and engineering resources solved this issue with customized programming interfaces, but it was really out of reach for most developers. Shah and co-founder and CTO Guru Kamat, who came from Stripe, wanted to fix that, perhaps not surprisingly with APIs.
“We’re not building a database. We’re building this abstraction layer that absolutely gives developers every single read and write you want from your software for your data, for your database. You get that as a purpose-built API for your data model, and it unlocks all the complexities and simplifies all the complexities as you go into production for performance scale,” he said.
It is these customized APIs based on the individual data model, whether gaming or e-commerce or whatever the application happens to be, that makes this unique. It’s creating these APIs between the database and the programming interface. For developers who want to see what that means, the company also gives visibility into each API, rather than presenting it as a black box.
There is also a dose of generative AI here as database queries are generated automatically with a custom large language model, designed specifically to understand the nuances of different databases and their associated query languages.
The company launched in August 2022. The founders left their jobs on a Friday and had a term sheet for the $5 million seed round in hand by the following week, giving them confidence and validation that they were solving a big problem.
The seven-person engineering team came together by December, and the company spent the first nine months of last year building a beta of the product. Today the company has 12 people on the team, with plans to hire a few more in the coming months; the product is generally available starting today.
The $5 million seed was led by Foundation Capital with participation from Cortical Ventures, Secure Octane Investments and Aviso Ventures.