Artificial intelligence Venture

Character.AI Hits Unicorn Status With $150M Raise As AI Craze Continues

Illustration of robot unicorn.

At this point, you can almost set your clock by it — every week there is a huge raise by an AI startup.

This week — like the last — the big round created a new unicorn as Character.AI closed a $150 million Series A at a $1 billion valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round had been reported earlier this month.

The round also included participation from previous investors, including Nat Friedman — former GitHub CEO — Elad Gil, SV Angel and A Capital. 

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The Palo Alto, California-based AI startup allows people to create their own personalized AI chatbot using language models and deep-learning algorithms. The AI-created companions can help users draft emails, serve as a study buddy, brainstorm ideas or a variety of other activities.

Investors just can’t get enough

Of course, Character.AI is far from the only AI startup this year to raise cash. Despite strong headwinds — like  a drop in venture financing and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank — VCs and large strategics including Microsoft, Google and Salesforce1 all continue to show unabated interest in generative AI startups.

The craze started in January with news of Microsoft’s massive $10 billion investment into OpenAI — creator of ChatGPT.

Earlier this month, San Francisco-based AI startup and rival to ChatGPT, Anthropic, was reported to be raising another $300 million round at a pre-investment valuation of $4.1 billion. Spark Capital is reportedly leading the round.

That came just about a month after Anthropic raised between $300 million and $400 million from Google.

Finally, just last week, Adept AI raised $350 million in a Series B. It was reported the new money gives the San Francisco-based startup a post-money valuation of at least $1 billion.

Who will it be next week?

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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