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Salesforce, Nvidia, Cisco Invest In AI Startup Cohere At $5B Valuation — Report

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Toronto-based Cohere locked up a $450 million investment from big-named corporate investors at a $5 billion valuation, per a Reuters report.

Investors in the round included chip giant Nvidia, Salesforce Ventures 1 and Cisco, as well as Canadian pension fund PSP Investments. The investment is expected to be only the first tranche in the round as Cohere continues fundraising, per the report.

The new valuation is more than double Cohere’s previous value. The company raised a $270 million Series C led by Inovia Capital at a valuation of $2.2 billion last June. Investors in the round included Nvidia, Oracle, Salesforce Ventures, DTCP and SentinelOne — as well as financial institutions and VC firms Mirae Asset, Schroders Capital, Thomvest Ventures and Index Ventures.

Cohere builds large language models that allow AI to learn from new data, and can be customized and put into applications for features such as interactive chat or to generate text.

Valuations increasing

Of course valuation jumps for AI startups is nothing new. In early May, AI cloud infrastructure startup CoreWeave locked up a $1.1 billion round led by Coatue that values the company at $19 billion, per The Wall Street Journal. The new value represented an almost threefold increase from the company’s valuation just five months ago, when it was valued at $7 billion following a secondary sale.

Also in May, it was reported that Paris-based Mistral AI — a competitor to OpenAI and Anthropic — was closing in on a round of about $600 million from existing investors General Catalyst and Lightspeed Venture Partners that would value it at $6 billion. That would triple Mistral’s value from just last December when it raised approximately $415 million at a $2 billion valuation, per a Bloomberg report.

Finally, just last week Elon Musk’s generative AI startup, xAI, officially announced its long-awaited fundraise — a $6 billion round that included investment from Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Co., Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and Kingdom Holding Co., among others. The new funding values the 10-month-old company at $24 billion post money, making it the second-most-valuable generative AI company in the world behind only competitor OpenAI.

More AI

Cisco and its investment arm, Cisco Investments, weren’t done making news on Tuesday.

It also announced the launch of a $1 billion AI investment fund “to bolster the startup ecosystem and expand the development of secure and reliable AI solutions.”

As part of the announcement, Cisco said it had made strategic investments in Cohere, Mistral AI and Scale AI in previously announced rounds, and has already committed nearly $200 million of the investment fund to date.

In previous years, Cisco made over 20 AI-focused acquisitions and investments, the company said in a release.

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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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