PredictionIO just raised $2.5M in a seed fund round. The startup, made up of a team with experiences in China, US and UK, offers open source servers for machine learning, a supposedly comprehensive predictive analysis service that is normally expensive to build.

"Predict user behaviors with just a few lines of code" - the slogan attached to this coding screenshot on PredicionIO's home page

“Predict user behaviors with just a few lines of code” – the slogan attached to this screenshot of code on PredictionIO’s home page

A few decades ago, only big companies like IBM and the government could afford to tap into machine learning. As of today, machine learning is a piece of technology that has planted itself into many industries, including but not limited to Internet search, fraud investigation, recommendations.

By making it open source, PredictionIO aims to lower the costs for individual programmers and small businesses who want to “build smarter stuff with just a few lines of code.” It’s also developer-friendly, meaning that no machine learning knowledge is required of users. In so doing, PredictionIO hopes to “make building machine learning in software as common as search.” The goal is to become MySQL – an open source database that has become the the world’s most deployed database in the web and cloud – in the prediction market.

There are currently more than 4000 developers on Github engaged with its open source product development. Most of its users come from the US, with a large number of users from Europe and India as well. The number of China-based users are catching up. When asked about today’s market for machine learning, CEO and co-founder Simon Chan told TechNode that the global demand for machine learning is rising. The trend started from the western countries a few years ago, now Asia, especially China, is picking up the demand. PredictionIO has a few large enterprise users based in Asia (we cannot disclose the names at this moment).