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Unify helps developers find the best LLM for the job

When developers have a specific task that AI can solve, it’s usually not as simple as just pointing the LLM at the data. There are other considerations such as cost, speed and accuracy, and finding a way to balance it all has been particularly challenging, especially with so many new models coming online all the time.

That’s where Unite comes a British startup from Imperial College, which has designed a routing tool that allows developers to enter parameters and find the best LLM for their unique requirements, whatever they may be. On Wednesday, the company announced an investment of $8 million.

«The main goal with Unify is to discover which models from which providers are best for your task using objective benchmarks and dashboards that allow you to compare them,» company founder and CEO Daniel Lenton told TechCrunch.

“Effectively a router is kind of a natural extension of this process, especially when companies start deploying large volumes and speed and cost become more important. So what we’re really trying to do is give people much more control over the quality, cost and speed profile of their LLM applications,” said Lenton.

Unsurprisingly, Unify uses AI to power the router’s core application. «Our router itself is a learned neural network. That’s how it learns which models are best for performing which tasks,» he said. The company does this by running exhaustive benchmarks on each new model on all of these tasks using GPT Pro as the judge. From this, the system learns how well this model performed certain tasks in their training sets.

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«So pretty soon every new provider model is supported by routers basically a day or two later,» he said.

Lenton says that the router and the way they’ve built a unique model to train it is in itself a way to defend what his startup is doing against the onslaught of bigger players, that and the fact that they’re neutral, and hyperscalers might not be.

He said that customers are usually just experimenting with different models and don’t have a tracking tool that is the best.

“There are people who have pressing problems who are willing to try an existing solution. So I think that’s how we got in the door,» he said.

While there are competitors such as Martian Router, OpenRouter and Portkey, Lenton says his company is the only one that optimizes quality, price and speed together.

The company is currently small with seven employees, and he is deliberately keeping it modest as he works to get a fully monetized product to market. It is planned to employ three more workers this year.

It reports about 3,000 logins so far with several hundred regular users. They expect to make money as they charge companies to make their own custom benchmarks. Any business can get started with the tool with a $50 credit.

The $8 million investment came from a range of investors including SignalFire, M12, J12, Essence VC, A. Capital. Lunar VC, Y Combinator and a bunch of prominent industry angels.

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