Clarifai: An Interview With SVP Of Marketing Chris Kent About Competing In A $70+ Billion Industry

By Amit Chowdhry • Jun 6, 2024

Clarifai is an AI company that specializes in computer vision, natural language processing, and audio recognition. Based in Washington, DC, the company uses machine learning and deep neural networks to automatically identify and analyze images, videos, text, and audio. Clarifai also enables users to implement AI technology into their products via API, Mobile SDK, and/or on-premise solutions. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Clarifai SVP of Marketing Chris Kent to learn more.

Chris Kent’s Background

What is Chris Kent’s background? Kent said:

“My background is fairly unique, as I started as an engineer/developer that worked on pioneering interactive tech in the Seattle tech scene before getting recruited into the intelligence community and government work. I transitioned back into tech, working for several startups. Most recently I spent six years at HashiCorp, growing it from a small open source company through IPO and massive commercial success and Cohesity, leading product marketing and helping build marketing from the ground. I’m really excited to lead marketing and drive go-to-market here at Clarifai.”

“Clarifai is at a unique point in the market, and my primary responsibilities center around raising our brand and awareness; working through positioning and messaging; category and market creation; how to sell and price and package the product; and ultimately how we achieve the commercial success we’ve set out to achieve.”

Favorite Memory

What has been Kent’s favorite memory working for the company so far? Kent reflected:

“We just recently held our Sales Kickoff and it was the first time we got to see all of the new initiatives we’ve been working so hard on come together, and see how the world is reacting has been so enjoyable! We’re at a unique place in the world and market where everything is changing so quickly, that we want to provide some stability in a volatile time.”

Core Products

What are the company’s core products and features? Kent explained:

“Clarifai is the AI Workflow Orchestration platform to quickly build, manage, and orchestrate AI workflows across organizations. We provide a single platform to orchestrate across the compute, security, data, model, and control layers. Clarifai reduces the time it takes to build AI applications and go from prototype to production in days instead of months/years.”

Right now in order to build AI applications, it takes a tremendous amount of knowledge and skills across so many different domains and areas that the largest companies in the world don’t have the skills and time to build these applications efficiently. Clarifai brings compute, security, data, models, and controls together, with everything orchestrated together so companies can just focus on what they’re good at.”

Challenges Faced

What challenges has Kent faced in this sector of work? Kent acknowledged:

“The sheer velocity around AI has created a lot of questions for customers, so reaching those folks where they need to be met is a challenge. There’s a lot of noise and oftentimes tech, especially startups, have an uphill challenge competing with the marketing might and budgets of large organizations.”

The biggest challenge we see, from a customer perspective, is that almost every organization is going through the same problem with regard to how to responsibly bring AI into their organization and quickly get to value. These same organizations went through this with the advent and adoption of cloud a decade ago. To help organizations work through this significant phase shift their business, Clarifai created ‘An Operating Model for Orchestrating & Operationalizing Enterprise AI‘ – this a fundamental approach to responsible AI. It focuses on the many challenges enterprises run into prior to working with us include skills gaps, under- or mis-utilized labor, AI sprawl that drives up costs and creates inconsistent outputs, a lack of governance and increased risk, siloed AI initiatives with duplicative technology, and more.”

An excerpt from the above document: ‘AI is changing how the world runs, and many organizations face the challenge of navigating this transformative journey quickly and efficiently. From the complexities of selecting and integrating different AI technologies and solutions into existing infrastructure, to workforce skill gaps around operationalizing, supporting, building, and collaborating on AI, the need for a scalable AI platform is critical to ensure businesses stay competitive and harness the immense power of AI.’“

Evolution Of Clarifai’s Technology

How has Clarifai’s technology evolved since launching? Kent noted:

“We got started as a computer vision (AI) company and have built the leading computer vision models, and over the past 10 years have built the leading AI workflow orchestration platform, based on customer feedback and needs.”

Clarifai has also eclipsed 1.5 billion operations in the last 12 months, demonstrating its capability to handle large-scale AI workloads across industries, with customers such as Amazon, Nvidia, Open Table, Canva, Siemens, and the U.S. government. We are working to cut through the noise by pointing to our proven track record in building and scaling enterprise AI over the past decade, with more than 1.5 million models and more than 400,000 users in 170 countries.”

Significant Milestones

What have been some of Clarifai’s most significant milestones? Kent cited:

“Being a 10-year old AI company, we’ve built a lot of the firsts in the market out of necessity. Clarifai has won numerous awards like the top 5 places in ImageNet and Image Classification, to leaders in computer vision, launching the first AI vector database, and many more.”

Customer Success Stories

After asking Kent about the company’s customer success stories, he highlighted:

“The U.S. government uses Clarifai extensively, and we help some of the largest organizations run and build AI faster. We have many use cases across industries highlighted on our website, from content moderation to digital asset management, visual inspection and product discovery, for companies in manufacturing, media and entertainment, ecommerce, and more.”


When asking Kent about the company’s revenue, he revealed:

We are targeting explosive growth, capitalizing on market trends and dynamics. We have been fairly conservative in funding and haven’t been caught in the downturns, so Clarifai is uniquely positioned to explore funding where appropriate, but also to grow responsibly. There’s a lot of new companies popping up everyday in the AI space, but there’s a reason we’ve been around for 10 years and are in a smaller group generating significant revenue and winning top customers over tech giants.”

Total Addressable Market

What total addressable market (TAM) size is the company pursuing? Kent assessed:

“$74 billion is the TAM we’re in (est. 2030).”

Differentiation From The Competition

What differentiates Clarifai from its competition? Kent affirmed:

“First and foremost is our product – we’ve been building this to support the largest organizations in the world, so we’ve been building for scale and growth for years. We also built our platform to run or integrate with any model, and any data, to make it easier for customers to build AI faster in the cloud, on-premise, or hybrid environments. We are also the leading computer vision company, have the best support for unstructured data, and are the only company that brings together compute, security, data, models, and controls all into a well-architected and orchestrated platform.”

Future Company Goals

What are some of Clarifai’s future company goals? Kent concluded:

“Enterprise growth and partnering with the largest companies in the world. We look forward to expanding awareness around our leading AI workflow orchestration platform and supporting companies in their AI efforts by preventing costly mistakes, expediting AI success today and future-proofing projects as the space continues to rapidly grow and shift.”