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2020 Year in Review

Published

It goes without saying that 2020 has been an unforgettable and challenging year for many. For Jina AI, 2020 has a different, more positive meaning: It is the year Jina was born and first introduced to the global open-source community.

In February, our founders came together with a vision of melding machine learning, search and open source, seeing the challenge and potential in building the definitive open-source neural search framework.

From our first release in May 2020 through to December 2020, we have shipped over 100 releases, with our major release of 0.9.0 on the horizon. While Jina is still under heavy development and progressing steadily towards 1.0, we’re constantly engaging with a broader audience from the open-source and machine-learning communities.

This engagement has been growing steadily over time:

Jina's Github stargazers since the first release

Milestones

As of December, Jina’s Core repository has over 22,000 lines of Python code. It’s an impressive feat, yet it doesn’t tell the whole story. What really makes this number meaningful is how we’ve worked together to achieve our product and community milestones:

Jina 2020 Milestones

Over the past year, Jina has grown from an initial neural search structure to a powerful multi-modal and cross-modal foundation which lets businesses and developers build their own search systems and enjoy the advancement of neural-network enabled search capabilities.

Community and Impact

Since day one, we’ve been committed to the culture of open source software (OSS). Although Jina is maintained by a full-time engineering team, we believe community is the key to successful open-source software. We constantly seek out ways to work with other open-source projects and pull out all the stops to support our community members building their own Jina projects.

To date, we’ve attracted close to 100 contributors, and about 20% of our pull requests come from our community. This is reflected in our community Slack channel, where we provide support to over 300 members.

Jina Core Community Metrics

We’ve also integrated with other open-source projects like Rasa, Streamlit, Terraform, Jupyter Notebook, and Mindspore. In September, Artur Tanona built Jina’s first community project, a neural search implementation for the legal sector. And in November, we kicked-off our first Early Adopter Program and began discussions with over a dozen candidates from individuals to startups to established enterprises.

Company

Jina AI was founded in February 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and economic slowdown. This couldn’t stop the march of the Jina team however. As one of the fastest-growing COSS startups, we have successfully closed two rounds of funding totalling over $7 million in just 6 months. This has also hit the record for early-stage COSS companies fundraising in the enterprise technology sector.

To date, our team has grown from three founders to a distributed team of over 20, with 60% of the team focused on product development and engineering. Our team is inclusive and diverse, with members from 7+ different countries and a modern structure that fits the culture of open-source and borderless development.

We have initiatives in place to improve our company culture, and we’re always on the lookout for new hires.

2021

As we look back on our achievements, we know that 2020 is just the beginning of our journey, with the new challenges and breakthroughs of 2021 just around the corner.

For our product and community, our 2021 focuses will be:

  • Major release of 1.0 in 2021 Q1
  • Engaging with Jina’s early adopters
  • Improving developer (learning) experience
  • Extending cloud support
  • Increasing visibility in the open-source community

We’ll keep building our team and we welcome those who share our belief in open source to join our journey to build the next generation of search frameworks.

Thank You!

Last but not least, we’d like to give thanks to all of our contributors, our community members, our friends at Deepset.ai, Streamlit, Philipp Vollet, our investors (GGV Capital, Yunqi Partners, and SAP.iO), and of course, our amazing team members. Thank you all for your support! Without you, Jina wouldn’t be what it is today.

Thank you, all of our contributors!