About us

Explosion is a software company specializing in developer tools for Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. We’re the makers of spaCy, the leading open-source library for advanced NLP and Prodigy, an annotation tool for radically efficient machine teaching.

Matthew Honnibal

Matthew is a leading expert in AI technology. He completed his PhD in 2009, and spent a further 5 years publishing research on state-of-the-art NLP systems. He left academia in 2014 to write spaCy and found Explosion.

Ines Montani

Ines is a co-founder of Explosion and a core developer of the spaCy NLP library and the Prodigy annotation tool. She has helped set a new standard for user experience in developer tools for AI engineers and researchers.

Justin DuJardin

Justin has close to 20 years experience as a software developer, across a range of technologies. His career includes 4 years at Garage Games, where he led an internal team building developer tools.

Sofie Van Landeghem

Sofie is a machine learning and NLP engineer with over 13 years of experience. Her doctoral research focused on text mining for life-sciences, followed by further work in the pharmaceuticals and food industries after her PhD.

Sebastián Ramírez

Sebastián is a developer with a wide range of experience across front-end, back-end and machine learning. He's the creator of FastAPI, a popular new open-source library for building modern REST services in Python.

Adriane Boyd

Adriane is a computational linguist who has been engaged in research since 2005, completing her PhD in 2012. She has extensive experience in quality control for linguistic annotation, parsing, and NLP for non-standard language.

Guadalupe Romero

Guadalupe is a graduate student in computational linguistics. She's been working on improving spaCy's support for inflexional languages, especially lemmatization and morphological analysis for Spanish and German.

Walter Henry

Walter is a journalist with a background in project and event management. At Explosion, he's in charge of personnel, communications and operations, including organizing corporate trainings and our spaCy IRL events.

We believe…

  1. Artificial Intelligence is not magic. The technology is only useful if it’s easy to understand.
  2. The best AI products won’t be built from boxed solutions. Developers need custom models and transparent tools, not just cloud services.
  3. AI software needs better developer and user experience. This requires hybrid skill sets and radical attention to detail.
  4. If you ship it, you should own it. We believe in taking responsibility for our software, and letting you do the same.
  5. Technology should be accessible. We want to provide the most value with open-source software. That’s why we’ve built spaCy and our other tools and libraries.
  6. We’re not your typical startup. We’re boot­strapped, independent and put stability over moonshots.

Frequently asked questions

How is what you’re offering different from Google’s or Microsoft’s Cloud APIs?

First, we’re not offering a service or an API. spaCy is an open-source library that you can run yourself and customise in ways that would be impossible for a cloud provider to support. This is particularly true for Deep Learning, where you want a tight integration across your model, including the ability to backpropagate errors through your whole pipeline. Companies nowadays need custom statistical models, tuned for their data, and developers need transparent tooling and technologies. We think there will always be a use case for cloud APIs, but at the same time, we believe that the best products won’t be built from boxed solutions.

How do you make money?

Our annotation tool Prodigy has a simple once-off pricing model — it’s old-fashioned “buy it, download it and use it” software. We’re also a “normal” business, rather than a venture-backed start-up. We’re a self-funded company valuing stability over growth, and profits over revenue. We chose to run our company this way because it’s better for us, but we hope you’ll find it’s also much better for you. It makes us spaCy users as well as developers. This keeps our interests well aligned with the rest of the community, in a way that “enterprise support” or “open core” business models consistently fail to do.

Are you available for consulting projects?

We still believe that the best way to do AI is in-house — one-size-fits-all solutions still don’t work, and we don’t see that changing. However, we no longer have availability to take on consulting projects ourselves. If you send us an email explaining what you’re working on, we might be able to introduce you to someone who can help.

Can I apply for a job at Explosion?

We’re currently not hiring for any positions. However, some of our work is project-based, so we occasionally work with remote freelancers with expertise in Machine Learning and NLP. If you’d like to work with us, feel free to get in touch.