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Pinecone raises $100M as generative AI drives demand for vector database technology

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New York City-based vector database company Pinecone Systems Inc. which enables long-term memory for large language model and generative artificial intelligence systems such as OpenAI LP’s GPT-4 said today that it has raised $100 million on a valuation of $750 million.

Andreessen Horowitz led the Series B funding round, with participation from new investor ICONIQ Growth and existing investors Menlo Ventures and Wing Ventures Capital also joined in the round. The total raised by the company is now $138 million, including a $28 million Series A round in 2022 and a $10 million seed round.

The large funding is yet another sign of the recent runaway enthusiasm of investor interest in generative AI and its application to a wide variety of information technologies across many industries.

Pinecone released its vector database in 2021 aimed at machine learning and AI applications by making it easier to store and consume the large amounts of data generated by training AI models. With the sudden popularity of generative AI, and LLMs, Pinecone has gained significant attention for its ability to act as a long-term memory for AI chatbots.

“The rise of generative AI propelled Pinecone to become an integral part of the software stack for AI applications,” said Edo Liberty, founder and chief executive of Pinecone.

Pinecone claims that its vector database model provides a novel way to search through data, which is superior for AI models. Unlike standard databases, which keep data in rows and columns, its database focuses on storing and searching through AI-generated representations of unstructured data using contextualized meanings where the “nearest neighbor” can be used to shift between them. This makes it faster to find information when developers perform searches for semantic data such as keywords, images or other media.

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in December brought on an explosion of interest in generative AI, which can be used to build conversational AI chatbots capable of human-like interactions with software. It doesn’t stop there, GPT-4 and other generative AI models, can create new content based on training data including poetry, songs, research papers, essays, artwork, computer code and more.

Businesses and professional services have been rapidly experimenting with incorporating generative AI into their work to assist their employees. This interest has led many developers to come up with their own applications to fill these needs. “We experienced explosive growth in AI developers and innovators building amazing applications on Pinecone’s free plan,” said Liberty.

Not only individual developers, but Pinecone itself also saw a tremendous increase in paid customers, including large companies such as Shopify Inc., Gong I.O. Ltd., HubSpot Inc. and Zapier Inc.

“Pinecone’s mission is to provide the Long Term Memory for AI, and we are well on our way to achieving that,” said Liberty. “Our self-onboarding product, efficient growth engine, and world-class team are here to power the next wave of AI-powered innovation.”

Image: Pixabay

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