Anthropic, an AI business launched in 2021 by ex-OpenAI researchers, is capitalizing on the current market excitement.
On Tuesday, the firm announced it had secured $450 million in funding, making it the largest AI fundraising round of the year so far, surpassing even Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI back in January, as per statistics from PitchBook.
As Microsoft, Google, and others race to implement new AI models into their main businesses, the market for startup financing has slowed dramatically since early 2022. Nevertheless, venture investors continue to pour money into firms with a compelling story in generative AI.
In Anthropic’s most recent investment round, Google joined Salesforce Ventures, Zoom Ventures, and Spark Capital as the round’s lead investors. Two months after Anthropic announced raising $300 million in capital at a $4.1 billion value, the company made the announcement.
Google had invested $300 million, or 10% of the company, a month earlier. It’s interesting that Google is named as the supporter rather than GV or CapitalG, two of Alphabet’s investing companies.
Claude, developed by Anthropic, is an alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Dario Amodei, formerly OpenAI’s VP of research, and his sister, Daniela Amodei, formerly OpenAI’s VP of safety and policy, created the company. The founding team of Anthropic also included several additional OpenAI research alums.
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Vice President Kamala Harris invited 4 companies to a White House AI ethics meeting, including Anthropic.
Associate research analyst at PitchBook Ali Javaheri commented, “This is definitely a big deal in the generative AI space.” That “OpenAI is not the only player in the game, that it’s still a very competitive space,” he stated.
Anthropic was one of four businesses invited to a White House meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this month to explore ethical practices in AI development. Others in the tech industry included Google’s parent company Alphabet, Microsoft, and OpenAI.
In addition, Anthropic declared in March that a chatbot app featuring Claude would be made available in Slack. Notion, DuckDuckGo, and Quora are among Claude’s earliest adopters.
The corporation would not disclose any other clients besides Slack.
An Anthropic spokeswoman, Sandy Banerjee, told CNBC that the money will be used “to continue training safer models, including future versions of Claude.”
“Our team is focused on AI alignment techniques that allow AI systems to better handle adversarial conversations, follow precise instructions, and generally be more transparent about their behaviours and limitations,” the Anthropic blog post read.
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Anthropic is a research company that is focused on developing safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence (AGI). The company was founded in 2016 by Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, and others who left OpenAI due to concerns about the company’s direction.
The $450M funding round was led by Google’s venture capital arm, GV. Other investors included Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, and DFJ Growth.
Anthropic plans to use the funding to expand its research efforts and hire more staff. The company is also planning to launch a new product called Claude, which is a chatbot that can answer questions about AI.