Israeli generative AI company AI21 Labs has announced raising a further $53 million to complete a $208 million Series C financing round (the first $155 million was announced in August), at a valuation of $1.4 billion. Participation from additional new investors includes Intel Capital and Comcast Ventures. This latest funding brings the total amount raised by the Tel Aviv-based AI and large language models (LLMs) developer to $336 million.
Founded in 2017 by chairman Prof. Amnon Shasuha, and co-CEOs Prof. Yoav Shoham, and Ori Goshen, AI21 Labs has been one of the pioneers of generative AI to the masses. In meeting growing demand, the company has built a strong customer base serving consumers to Fortune 100 companies with the power of its advanced LLM and natural language (NLP) technologies through easy-to-use applications and APIs.
The company has 250 employees and plans to hire 100 more.
AI21 has built AI systems that are easy to integrate and that generate reliable, trustworthy, and accurate results with more refined control than any standalone existing model. The company's proprietary Jurassic-2 foundation models are some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated LLMs. Jurassic-2 powers AI21 Studio, a developer platform for building custom text-based business applications off of AI21’s language models; and Wordtune, a multilingual reading and writing AI assistant for professionals and consumers.
Goshen said, "We’re extremely grateful for the support of our investors who believe in our deep technology expertise. This funding will enable AI21 to increase mindshare that one size doesn’t fit all, as enterprises look for unique partners that understand their specific needs. Mass deployment of AI requires deep understanding of high-performance language models that can deliver better value and impact. Our approach is about designing AI with purpose, making it significantly more efficient than building from scratch, and much more cost effective."
Prof. Shoham added, "We will see an increasing shift in discussion to AI Systems that will define the next era in computing. By adopting a more comprehensive systems approach, our AI enriches LLMs with knowledge and reasoning, in addition to statistical inference. This enables us to define a flexible architecture with multiple LLMs, complemented by discrete knowledge and reasoning modules."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 21, 2023.
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