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AI Craze Hits New Level As Anthropic Locks Up $450M, Closes $250M Round

Illustration of man and robot looking at each other. [Dom Guzman]

Well, just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier.

Investors poured in $700 million into two AI startups Tuesday — and Anthropic — seemingly marking another level of the AI craze that has dominated the private markets since late last year.

Leading the way, Anthropic — a ChatGPT rival with its AI assistant Claude — raised $450 million in Series C funding led by Spark Capital with participation from Google, Salesforce Ventures1, Sound Ventures, Zoom Ventures and others.

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“We are thrilled that these leading investors and technology companies are supporting Anthropic’s mission: AI research and products that put safety at the frontier,” said CEO Dario Amodei in a release. “The systems we are building are being designed to provide reliable AI services that can positively impact businesses and consumers now and in the future.”

The round comes after earlier reports in February that Google had invested between $300 million and $400 million into the San Francisco-based startup. That was followed in March by reports that Anthropic was raising another $300 million round at a pre-investment valuation of $4.1 billion. 

Anthropic itself has previously announced a $124 million in a Series A in 2021 and a $580 million Series B in 2022 — led by none other than disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

But wait, there’s more

While Anthropic was announcing its massive raise, another AI startup across the pond was raising some cash of its own.

London-based raised a Series D of more than $250 million led by Qatar Investment Authority. Other investors included Iconiq Capital, Jungle Ventures and Insight Partners.

The company, which uses AI in its software development platform, did not disclose a valuation, but said its valuation increased as much as 1.8x, presumably since its last raise in 2022.

Earlier this month, Microsoft — which has AI aspirations of its own — and announced a partnership which included an equity investment in the startup.

Founded in 2016, has now raised more than $450 million.

AI frenzy

With so many big rounds getting announced, it’s now getting to the point where one has to wonder if all these investments themselves are actually AI generated.

VCs and large strategics including Microsoft, Google and Salesforce all continue to show unabated interest in generative AI startups.

Last month AlphaSense, an AI-enhanced market intelligence platform, raised $100 million from investors that included CapitalGAlphabet’s independent growth fund. 

In March, 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.

Also in March, San Francisco-based Adept AI raised $350 million in a Series B — at a reported post-money valuation of at least $1 billion.

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

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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