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European OpenAI Competitor Aleph Alpha Raises $500M

Illustration of paper airplane made from money

Germany-based Aleph Alpha raised a $500 million Series B as AI startups outside the U.S. continue to see bigger rounds.

The round was led by the Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence, Bosch Ventures and the companies of Schwarz Group. Other new investors include Christ & Company Consulting, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAP and Burda Principal Investments.

Founded in 2019, Aleph Alpha allows companies to develop and deploy large language and multimodal models. Its presence in Europe may help set it apart from other U.S.-based startups like OpenAI and Anthropic as more regulations are put into place around the world.

“The thought of having our own sovereignty in the AI sector is extremely important,” Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck said at a press conference about the investment. “If Europe has the best regulation but no European companies, we haven’t won much.”

Aleph Alpha did not announce a valuation with the new round. The company has now raised more than $640 million, per Crunchbase data.

Money everywhere

AI startups raising big cash obviously is not new. OpenAI has raised billions of dollars this year, and less than two weeks ago Google agreed to invest up to $2 billion in Anthropic — just a month after Anthropic inked a deal with Amazon to invest up to $4 billion.

However, the last few months seem to have witnessed a pickup in big AI investment outside the U.S.

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

Then late last month it was reported another OpenAI and Anthropic competitor — Paris-based Mistral AI — plans to raise an additional $300 million from investors. The raise would come less than five months after the startup — developing an open-source large language model — raised a seed round worth approximately $111 million led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

It seems if you are an AI startup anywhere in the world, investors will find you.

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Illustration: Dom Guzman

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