Artificial intelligence Startups Venture

OpenAI Competitor AI21 Labs Raises $155M At A $1.4B Valuation From Investors Including Google, Nvidia

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Israel-based AI startup AI21 Labs has locked up a $155 million Series C from investors that include Google and Nvidia.

The new round values the company at $1.4 billion. Other investors include Walden Catalyst, Pitango, SCB10X, b2venture, Samsung Next and Professor Amnon Shashua. AI21 has raised $283 million to date, according to the company.

The new round is just the latest huge raise in the AI space. It will be used by AI21 to grow its text-based generative AI services for enterprises.

AI21 competes with the likes of generative AI powerhouses OpenAI and Anthropic. The startup has its own proprietary large language models, called Jurassic-2. Those models help power the company’s developer platform for building custom text-based business applications and its multilingual reading and writing AI assistant.

Corporates paying up

Having big names like Google and Nvidia as investors is nothing new for generative AI companies, as that has been the norm since the craze started in January with news of Microsoft’s massive $10 billion investment into OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT.

Just over two weeks ago, Anthropic announced it had raised a $100 million round from SK Telecom, as South Korea’s largest telco looks to grow its AI-related telecommunications business. As part of the deal, the San Francisco-based AI startup will build a large language model customized for telcos. 

Earlier, in May, Anthropic raised a $450 million Series C led by Spark Capital with participation from Google, Salesforce Ventures 1 and others.

Other AI startups Inflection AI, Runway and Typeface also raised huge rounds from some of the names above. 

It looks like big tech will not be left behind in the AI game, even if that means placing multiple bets.

Further reading:

Illustration: Dom Guzman

  1. Salesforce Ventures is an investor in Crunchbase. They have no say in our editorial process. For more, head here.


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