Inflection AI, a startup backed by several Silicon Valley heavyweights, said on Thursday it had raised $1.3 billion (nearly Rs. 10,670 crore) from investors including Microsoft and Nvidia, amid a boom in the artificial intelligence (AI) sector.
The investment, a mix of cash and cloud credit, valued the one-year-old company at $4 billion (nearly Rs. 32,840 crore), a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Inflection released its chatbot Pi last month. Founded by Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, it focused on building consumer-faced AI products and is considered a top rival of OpenAI.
Pi uses generative AI technology, similar to ChatGPT, to interact with users through dialogues, allowing people to ask questions and share feedback. Inflection said it wants to build a personal AI that will help people plan, schedule, gather information and perform other tasks.
Palo Alto, California-based Inflection AI has about 35 employees. It raised $225 million (nearly Rs. 1,850 crore) in a first round of funding in early 2022 from Greylock, Microsoft and Reid Hoffman.
Last week, it released a report on its model Inflection-1, which powers Pi, and claims it has outperformed most models available.
Most of the funding will be used to build computing power to develop a more powerful foundation model, according to Suleyman, chief executive at Inflection.
"We'll be building a cluster of around 22,000 H100s. This is approximately three times more compute than what was used to train all of GPT4. Speed and scale are what's going to really enable us to build a differentiated product," Suleyman said at Collision Conference on Thursday.
The AI space has been hailed as the next frontier for technology after OpenAI's bot ChatGPT became a viral sensation late last year.
The industry has drawn several investors in the past few months as corporates examine ways to integrate the technology into their businesses, while regulators have been mulling over how to tackle the technology.
Microsoft, an existing investor and also backer of rival OpenAI, participated in Inflection's latest fundraise.
Nvidia, which has stepped up its AI investments recently, Hoffman, Bill Gates and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt also participated in the latest round, Inflection said.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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