Who Owns Devin AI? The A Star Cognition Coding Team

From small teams great projects can emerge as Devin shows

Who owns Devin AI - Silhouetted figure against a vibrant, geometric light display

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If you want to know who owns Devin AI, you’ve come to the right place – Devin AI may in time come to be known as ‘the world’s first AI software engineer’ given its incredible capabilities, but where did it come from and who is behind it? Here we provide you with the key information about its owners, Cognition AI, and the highly-skilled team that comprises it.

Who owns Devin AI?

Devin AI is owned by Cognition AI. And while the uninitiated may wonder if Devin is a ChatGPT competitor, Devin is fairly specialized for a reason. Founded in November 2023, the startup has been operating out of Airbnbs in Silicon Valley and home offices in New York (Bloomberg). A $21 million funding round, led by German-American entrepreneur and Pay Pal co-founder Peter Thiel and his Founders Fund, secured the startup’s initial investment round.

According to the Bloomberg article, other notable investors have included Fred Ehrsam, founder of cryptocurrency platform Coinbase; Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash; and Elad Gil, former Twitter executive.

The A Star Cognition Coding Team

Digging under the hood brings the A-Star coding team helping Cognition AI into view. Principally these are founders: Scott Wu (Chief Executive Officer), Steven Hao (Chief Technology Officer), and Walden Yan (Chief Product Officer). Scott’s brother Neal is also involved.

Danny Rodriguez published a great background piece on Linked In, detailing the Wu brothers’ journey through their teenage years of math challenges and competitive coding to reach the forefront of the fast-moving world of AI. The Wu brothers have competed in and won numerous international coding competitions and are world-renowned for their coding prowess.

As evidenced by Neal Wu’s YouTube channel, their love of coding algorithms and competitive problem-solving is likely a key factor behind their current success and the skills that have helped elevate the US national coding team’s position against formidable rivals from China and Eastern Europe.

Steven Hao, Cogniton’s CTO, has previously served as a top engineer at Scale AI, while Walden Yan, the CPO, recently held a position at Harvard University. Yan’s peers have praised him as an exceptional talent, although his current status at the university remains ambiguous.

Small but notable

The Cognition AI team comprises just ten people, but their collective achievements are impressive. The staff has a total of 10 gold medals at top international coding competitions, and according to the Rodriguez LinkedIn post, every member of the founding team at Cognition has Grandmaster status on Codeforces, which no doubt goes a long way towards explaining the coding smarts powering Devin AI.

Ultimately, when you start digging into the team behind Devin, you see that the world’s first AI engineer is being powered by a team that loves coding, algorithmic puzzles, and problem-solving and has decided to put that love into building an AI that can do the same.

In the process, they might have just taken us on the first step into a world of autonomous AI agents that will revolutionize everything from healthcare to urban planning.

John is a seasoned writer and creative media producer who explores the intersection of technology and human identity. He joined PC Guide in 2024.