The striking rise of ChatGPT, the chatbot that OpenAI launched in November 2022, along with increased interest in image generators (like DALL-E, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion), music/sound generators, and code generators, generative artificial intelligence (“AI”) has taken the tech world by storm. Not limited to having an impact in Silicon Valley, alone, generative AI – which is a type of AI technology that is trained to produce various types of content, including text, imagery, audio, and synthetic data, is response to user prompts – is bringing with it the potential “to change how everything from the written word to art is created,” as Axios put it not too long ago. It is also raising some interesting and nuanced questions in the legal realm, including in terms of authorship/ownership and infringement.
Against this background (and in light of reportedly waning interest in/slowing spending for web3 endeavors), a flurry of funding and acquisition activity is coming to the generative AI space. In addition to tech titans – like Microsoft (which invested $10 billion in ChatGPT developer OpenAI in January) and Google (which backed ChatGPT rival Anthropic with a nearly $400 million investment in February) – pouring money into AI, venture firms have increased their investments in generative AI by 425 percent since 2020 to $2.1 billion, according to Pitchbook’s calculations.
In order to get a handle on what generative AI ventures are garnering the most traction – and funding – and to take the temperature of this space more broadly (and what it means for players in the fashion/retail space), we have compiled a (running) tracker of generative AI-specific funding and M&A. Among the firms on our list are those that focus on using generative AI to compile/analyze environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) data for companies, for instance; those that are looking to bring generative AI to the legal sector; and ones that are angling to deploy solutions to companies’ complex supply chains using AI …
Mar. 23, 2023 – Character.AI Raises $150M Series A
Character.AI has raised $150 million in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz. The round values the AI chatbot startup at $1 billion, the company told Reuters. While Character.AI has not generated any revenue since its founding in Sept. 2022, the Palo Alto-based company, which enables users to create “customized AI companions with specific personality and values,” has amassed 100 million monthly site visits. “The billion-dollar valuation for a company with zero revenue is another example of the continued AI funding boom since OpenAI’s ChatGPT became a widely recognized name,” per Reuters. “The funds raised allow Character.AI to continue its significant growth trajectory by expanding its compute abilities resulting in a more sophisticated model with advanced reaso ning and greater accuracy, delivering new features and capabilities to users, and expanding its engineering team,” the company said in a statement.
Mar. 16, 2023 – Adept Raises $350M Series B
Adept raised $350 million in a Series B funding round led by General Catalyst and Spark Capital to build out AI models that it says will do more than merely respond to text commands, but will “actually turn that command into actions,” from browsing the internet to navigating enterprise software tools. The round follows a $65 million Series A in April 2022.
This is a short excerpt from a data set that is published exclusively for TFL Enterprise subscribers. For access to our up-to-date generative AI investment and M&A tracker, inquire today about how to sign up for an Enterprise subscription.