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Thursday, December 8, 2022

AI startup Cohere Inc. in talks to raise $200M from Google

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Artificial intelligence startup, Cohere Inc., is in talks with Google to receive an investment of at least $200 million from the search engine giant. Cohere, which develops natural language processing software, has also discussed potential strategic investments with Nvidia.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Google is in discussions to invest at least $200 million in the artificial intelligence firm Cohere Inc. This is yet another indicator of the sector’s intensifying arms race among huge technological corporations.

Cohere, which was founded in 2019, develops natural language processing software that developers may use to construct artificial intelligence apps for organizations, such as chatbots and other features that can interpret human voice and text. Last November, the firm signed a multi-year agreement with Google to use its cloud division to provide the computational capacity required for Cohere to train its software models.

According to the sources, Cohere also discussed a potential strategic partnership with chipmaker Nvidia Corp. as part of the negotiations. According to other sources, the firms’ discussions are still underway and may fail.

The valuation of Cohere from any prospective fresh capital could not be determined. Nvidia and Google both declined to comment. Cohere, which is located in Toronto, has not responded to calls for comment.

Other technological behemoths are likewise aiming to increase their reliance on artificial intelligence. Microsoft Corp. is in advanced negotiations to lead a fresh fundraising round in OpenAI, another firm racing to develop software models that could enable a computer to grasp whatever a human can within years.

OpenAI is already an exclusive partner of Microsoft’s Azure cloud service and has promised to prioritize Microsoft when bringing innovations to market. In 2019, Microsoft spent $1 billion in OpenAI.

Since taking over as CEO of Google in 2015, Sundar Pichai has stressed the relevance of AI to the corporation. DeepMind, an AI research startup, was bought by Alphabet in 2014. Google Brain, Google’s research branch, is also one of the most highly followed publications on huge language models and other AI issues.

Aidan Gomez, Cohere’s CEO, was previously an intern at Google Brain, where he worked on a study that expanded the highly recognized Transformer AI model.

Some experts have warned that emerging AI models might raise difficult ethical issues and contribute to unjustified hype in the industry.

The fresh cash would add to a frenzy of investment activity for AI businesses in what has been a lethargic market for new transactions. In February, Cohere secured $125 million in a fresh fundraising round headed by investment company Tiger Global Management, increasing its total funding to more than $170 million at the time.

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