ChatGPT’s “Reliable” Competitor Anthropic Raises $450M
Money keeps flowing into generative AI startups, carried by the ChatGPT wave. Especially among those chosen as foals by tech giants, such as Anthropic. The start-up, founded in 2021 by…
Money keeps flowing into generative AI startups, carried by the ChatGPT wave. Especially among those chosen as foals by tech giants, such as Anthropic. The start-up, founded in 2021 by former OpenAI researchers, announced Tuesday raising $450 million.
For this Series C funding round, led by Spark Capital, big names in the industry pulled out their checkbooks: Google, Salesforce (via Salesforce Ventures) and Zoom (via Zoom Ventures), alongside Sound Ventures, Menlo Ventures and d ‘others. The amount is the largest raised in the industry this year since Microsoft announced its investment in OpenAI last January, according to data from Pitchbook.
The San Francisco-based company declined to disclose its current valuation. But the round follows an investment of nearly $400 million from Google in February and “The Information” reported in March that the company was looking to raise funds worth more than $4.1 billion. Anthropic had previously announced that it had raised $124 million in a Series A in 2021 and $580 million in a Series B in 2022 – led by Sam Bankman-Fried, the ex-CEO of the fallen platform of FTX cryptos.
A “useful, honest and harmless” AI istant
In short, where Microsoft has chosen to invest billions in the OpenAI laboratory – and its stunning chatbot ChatGPT – in order to shake the Google empire, the Mountain View firm responds by betting on Anthropic. Called Claude, Anthropic’s conversational agent is also capable of answering questions in natural language or generating code.
But the stated objective of its creators is to develop an AI istant that is “useful, honest and harmless”, where its competitors would be more likely to generate false or biased results. “Our team focuses on techniques […] that allow AI systems to better handle adversarial conversations, follow precise instructions, and generally be more transparent about their behaviors and limitations,” the company said in a statement.
Another et, Claude is able to swallow a greater source of words. Where a request to ChatGPT can only extend to around 3,000 words, Claude can push up to around 75,000 words. The company tested the system by sending him the entire “Great Gatsby” novel – with just one sentence altered – and asking him to spot the sentence in question. Claude would have done it successfully in 22 seconds.
Slack users can already use it, via an application to be installed on the platform, and send it requests as if it were another member of the team. Similarly, Anthropic has already given Claude access to several companies, including Notion, Quora, and DuckDuckGo.
When presentation of its generative AI toolbox called Bedrock, last April, Amazon also said it was making Anthropic’s language model available to customers of its cloud offering.
The OpenAI Mafia
Anthropic remains a name still relatively unknown to the general public, but the start-up can count internally on the expertise of several OpenAI alumni. Dario Amodei, its managing director, is thus the former security manager of Sam Altman’s laboratory. Likewise, as TechCrunch notes, This new funding round from Anthropic comes just after Spark Capital hired Fraser Kelton, the former product manager at OpenAI, as a venture capital partner.
If after the creation of Paypal was born the “Paypal Mafia” – which gave birth to Tesla and Space X for Elon Musk, LinkedIn for Reid Hoffman -, the creation of OpenAI gave birth to this “OpenAI Mafia”. Over the past five years, more than 30 employees have jumped ship and raised more than $1 billion for new projects, like Anthropic’s.