Our Story

Get a glimpse into our company history.

Founded by Leila Janah and driven by the belief that “Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.”

Developed our first relationships with partner delivery centers and focused on data entry, sentiment analysis and data transcription.


Built version one of SamaHub, our technology platform.


First deep learning image annotation projects. Images used by Microsoft to build out Xbox Kinect technology.

Launched enhanced data annotation platform features on SamaHub.

First large scale product classification project with WalmartLabs.

Partnered with Oxfam to assist youth in Northern Uganda affected by civil war. by opening a delivery center in Gulu.


Helped nearly 5,000 people lift themselves out of poverty.


First video annotation and 3D annotation projects for Microsoft.


Opened our first owned and operated center in Nairobi, Kenya.


Launched European operations with first office in The Hague.

Opened an office in Costa Rica.


Achieved ISO 9001 certification for Nairobi Delivery Center.

Celebrated 10 years, having helped lift 10K+ people out of poverty.

Adopted a hybrid business structure enabling the company to attract investment capital to fuel growth.


Helped over 50,000 people have meaningful income and move out of poverty.

Opened office in Kampala, Uganda and Montreal.

Announced Series A funding.


Annotated over 1.5B points

Won AI Breakthrough Awards for Best Image Processing Solution

Made Inc. Magazine’s Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing 5,000 Private Companies

Became the first AI company to receive B Corp Certification

Published a Randomized Control Trial


Samasource becomes Sama, representing our vision to take on the most ambitious AI projects and deliver high-quality, accurate training data


Leila Janah

Our Founder

Leila Janah, our late founder, firmly believed that providing meaningful, dignified, living wage work is the best way to permanently lift people out of poverty. Leila founded Sama in 2008 with the vision of equally distributing opportunity by giving work, using cutting edge social enterprise models.

Prior to founding Sama, Leila was a Visiting Scholar with the Stanford Program on Global Justice and Australian National University’s Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics. She was a founding Director of Incentives for Global Health and a management consultant at Katzenbach Partners (now Booz & Co.).

Leila was a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a former Director of CARE USA, a TechFellow, recipient of the inaugural Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award, and the youngest person to win a Heinz Award in 2014. She was named one of Fortune’s Most Promising Entrepreneurs and has been the subject of cover stories in Entrepreneur, Fast Company and Conscious Company Magazines. 

Learn more about Leila's legacy at the Leila Janah Foundation