Toronto-based Cohere became the latest artificial intelligence startup to raise big money at an even bigger valuation.
The startup raised a $270 million Series C led by Inovia Capital at a valuation of $2.2 billion.
Other investors in the round include some big corporate names — Nvidia, Oracle, Salesforce Ventures1, DTCP and SentinelOne — as well as financial institutions and VC firms Mirae Asset, Schroders Capital, Thomvest Ventures and Index Ventures.
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Cohere builds large language models that allow AI to learn from new data, and can be customized and put into applications for features like interactive chat or to generate text.
Umesh Padval, a venture partner at Thomvest Ventures, told Crunchbase News his firm made the investment for a handful of reasons, including Cohere’s engineering and management teams, its multicloud and hybrid cloud approach and its significant strategic channels option — as well as the market in general.
There is a “massive market opportunity in LLM space which is exploding,” Padval said. “Cohere has all the elements which would make them successful.”
The Cohere round illustrates two trends right now in AI — big money and some of that money from big-name tech companies.
Nvidia, for instance, just became a trillion-dollar market cap company after its shares exploded thanks to demand for its chips used in AI. The company, like several other tech titans, has been placing bets into AI startups for years. The same can be said for Salesforce Ventures, which just last month participated in the $450 million Series C for Anthropic — a ChatGPT rival with its AI assistant Claude — which also included Google and Zoom Ventures.
Of course, the Cohere and Anthropic deals are not the only huge AI deals recently.
In March, Character.ai closed a $150 million Series A at a $1 billion valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz. The Palo Alto, California-based AI startup allows people to create their own personalized AI chatbot using language models and deep-learning algorithms.
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Illustration: Dom Guzman
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