Meet Our Team

Our Story

Figure Eight is dedicated to making machine learning work in the real world. Founded by a pair of data scientists, we’ve long provided businesses of every type with high-quality training data at scale that drives the most ambitious projects for the most innovative companies in the world.

Lukas Biewald


Lukas co-founded Figure Eight. He has worked as a Senior Scientist and Manager within the Ranking and Management Team at Powerset, Inc., a natural language search technology company later acquired by Microsoft, and also led the Search Relevance Team for Yahoo! Japan. He graduated from Stanford University with a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science. Lukas is also an expert-level Go player.

Read More

Chris Van Pelt


Chris co-founded Figure Eight. He was previously a technical product manager at Powerset, Inc., a natural language search technology company later acquired by Microsoft. Chris has worked as a studio artist, computer scientist, and web engineer. He combines deep design insight with crisp, minimalist coding abilities that enables him to produce anything — soup-to-nuts applications — sometimes within minutes. Chris studied both art and computer science at Hope College.

Read More

Becky Scott


As COO, Becky brings to Figure Eight over 25 years of executive, operational and financial leadership experience in Silicon Valley technology companies. She is responsible for Figure Eight’s operations and results.

Prior to Figure Eight, Becky was the COO and CFO of Pearl Law Group, a San Francisco based immigration law firm. She has held executive leadership roles at BabyCenter, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Navigenics, and various other Bay Area technology companies. Prior to her leadership roles, she worked at Lehman Brothers in its San Francisco technology investment banking group, and at Arthur Andersen.

Becky holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University.

Read More

Dale Brown

VP, Business Development and Operations

As VP of Business Development / Head of Operations and part of the Executive Team, Dale leads the strategy and programmatic execution with Figure Eight’s partners. Dale’s career in the technology sector spans decades, centered in Business Development and Enterprise Sales leadership roles. His past successes have two themes: driving business outcomes for partners and customers; and achieving results in emerging trends, markets and technologies.

Most previously, Dale was the Vice President of Business Development for Bitnami, a global leader in application packaging and a major contributor to Kubernetes-related projects. Dale also advises start-ups in the areas of strategy and leadership.

Read More

Ryan Ferrier

VP, Sales

For the past decade, Ryan has served as an executive leading revenue growth and business operations with multiple successful exits.

As an early team member of semantic search engine Powerset, Ryan managed business operations and company growth until its sale to Microsoft for $100M. Ryan then co-founded social gaming company Serious Business, where he lead the company as COO through rapid revenue growth and a successful acquisition by Zynga.

Most recently, Ryan was responsible for Sales & Marketing at Vidcaster, the enterprise video platform for companies like GoPro and HP, where he served as CRO through its merger with Vidlet.

Ryan also advises startups on their operational and revenue growth. Current and past companies include: ValiMail,, 1 Block Off the Grid (now NRG), Sift Science and even a previous stint with Figure Eight.

Read More

Benjamin Kearns

VP, Engineering

With 10+ years of full-stack software leadership and business strategy experience, Benjamin has led hundreds of multi-geographical staff, managers, and directors within successful engineering organizations including Mayfield Robotics, Stem, Inc., U1 Technologies, and Verizon. His approach to success is to source the right people, and then find the proper balance of process and freedom to keep people inspired and passionate.

Read More

Romeo Leon

VP, Success

Romeo is a veteran customer success executive. Prior to joining Figure Eight, Romeo developed world-class success and services teams at top SaaS players including GoodData and WebDAM, a Shutterstock company. Most recently as Head of Customer Success at WebDAM, Romeo built and was overall responsible for all aspects of the post-sales customer experience including onboarding, technical services, customer retention and technical support.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Economy and a minor in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Last but not least, Romeo has been known to have an affinity for dapper wardrobe and trimmings including high quality denim, sport coats, colorful socks and pocket squares.

Read More

Sid Mistry

VP, Marketing

Sid is a metrics driven marketer, with more than 15 years of experience in B2B and SaaS technology. He began his career in internet security, managing channel and field marketing programs and has had progressive leadership roles within demand generation and marketing at several companies, including Fliptop (acquired by LinkedIn), ThousandEyes and Entelo. His focus is on marketing programs and operations, and to continue leading the brand as the essential Human-in-the-Loop Machine Learning platform.

Sid has a BA in Business Management from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MBA in Marketing from San Jose State University.

Read More

Preethi Pragash

VP, Finance and Administration

As VP of Finance and Administration and part of Executive team, Preethi leads Figure Eight in the strategic and financial oversight of the company. Preethi brings over 15 years of financial and accounting leadership experience. She began her accounting career with Deloitte India. Prior to joining Figure Eight, she held progressive leadership positions at Jigsaw and Financial Engines. During her tenure at Jigsaw, she was a big part of financial due-diligence team during acquisition by SalesForce.

Preethi holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from India and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) from the State of California. She is also a member of The Institute of Cost Accountants of India.

Read More

Alyssa Simpson Rochwerger

VP, Product

Alyssa is a customer-driven product leader dedicated to building products that surprise, delight and bring new value to market. Her experience in scaling products from conception to large-scale ROI has been proven at both startups and large enterprises alike. As Director of Product Management at IBM Watson, Alyssa saw first-hand how thoughtful, sophisticated use of data has the power to transform industries. During her recent tenure at IBM, she oversaw the development of a large portfolio of AI products including vision, speech, emotional intelligence and machine translation.

Alyssa was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in American Studies from Trinity College. When she is not geeking out on data and technology, she can be found hiking, cooking, and dining at “off the beaten path” restaurants with her labradoodle, Scout.

Read More

Eric Shangle

VP, People and Culture

Eric brings over 20-years of experience in technology, science, hospitality, and government to Figure Eight. He acts as a strategic partner for growing the company and in making it a “great place to work.” He recently led the People Operations functions at Enjoy and ZeroCater taking each through hyper-growth phases and early funding rounds while focusing the team on culture and performance.

His time as a naval officer is the foundation for his perspective on coaching and developing teams. Eric is a former Meteorologist/Oceanographer with an M.B.A. from the Naval Postgraduate School, an M.A. in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. He has lived and traveled all over the world but calls San Francisco home where he is active in the local community.

Read More

Scientific Advisory Board

Lukas Biewald

Founder & Executive Chairman

Figure Eight

Barney Pell


Moon Express

Monica Rogati

Data Science &

AI Advisor

Adrien Treuille

Vice President, Simulation


Pete Warden

Staff Research Engineer


Adrian Weller

Senior Research Fellow

University of Cambridge


Canvas Venture Fund
Trinity Ventures
Industry Ventures
Quest Venture Partners
Promus Ventures
Harmony Partners
M12 - Microsoft Ventures
Salesforce Ventures

Read the latest Figure Eight News