Report: AI startup Inflection in talks to raise up to $675M

Report: AI startup Inflection in talks to raise up to $675M

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Inflection, an artificial intelligence startup led by prominent tech executives, is reportedly in talks to raise up to $675 million from investors. 

The Financial Times reported the development today, citing people familiar with the matter.

Inflection has not yet launched a product and offers little information about its plans on its one-page website. The startup first made headlines last May after a regulatory filing revealed it had raised $225 million in funding. Earlier, CNBC reported that Inflection is backed by venture capital firm Greylock Partners.

Inflection was launched in March 2022 by Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of Alphabet Inc.’s DeepMind AI research unit, and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. Before leaving Alphabet, Suleyman led the team responsible for integrating Google LLC’s LaMDA neural network into Google Search. LaMDA powers the search giant’s recently introduced Bard chatbot.

According to the Financial Times, Inflection is seeking to raise between $500 million and $675 million from investors. Suleyman told the paper that “ultimately, if we decide to raise, we will raise the right amount of capital to achieve our company goals.”

Inflection is reportedly developing an AI chatbot for the consumer market. It will be capable of helping users with tasks such as “making bookings and purchases”. Unlike the Bard chatbot Google is building into its search engine, Inflection’s system reportedly won’t focus on answering user questions across a broad range of topics. 

Inflection’s chatbot is said to be based on a generative AI model. Generative AI is the term for a broad category of advanced neural networks that can produce realistic text, images and audio. Such neural networks are often expensive to train because of their complex designs: the most advanced generative AI models feature billions of parameters.

Inflection is reportedly using Microsoft Corp.’s Azure cloud platform to train its generative AI. Azure is used to the same end by OpenAI LLC, the developer of ChatGPT and other advanced AI systems. Microsoft recently made a $10 billion investment in OpenAI that includes billions of dollars’ worth of Azure infrastructure. 

Inflection is currently testing its AI chatbot and plans to launch it “very soon.” The new funding the startup is reportedly seeking to raise could help advance its commercialization efforts amid growing competition from other generative AI companies.

On Thursday, OpenAI introduced an application programming interface that will enable developers to embed ChatGPT in their software. Earlier, fellow AI research lab Anthropic Inc. secured a $300 million investment from Google. The Financial Times reported today that Inc., another startup developing advanced AI software, is also seeking to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

Photo: Unsplash

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