Google-backed AI startup Anthropic seeking to raise $750M in new funding round led by Menlo Ventures

OpenAI rival Anthropic is in talks to secure $750 million in a venture round led by Menlo Ventures, valuing the two-year-old AI startup at $15 billion, excluding the investment, according to an exclusive report from The Information.

This valuation is more than three times its worth this spring, as revealed by sources familiar with the matter. Although the round is still in progress, indications suggest that the final valuation could exceed $18 billion, The Information reported, citing a third source. The latest investment comes in addition to commitments already obtained from major cloud providers, which also provide computing resources to Anthropic.

Just four months ago, Anthropic, the AI startup backed by Google, secured a $100 million investment from SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telecommunications company. This funding was aimed at bolstering Anthropic’s AI business focused on telecommunications. The company had previously received funding from Google and, with both companies committing to invest up to $2 billion and $4 billion, respectively, in the past few months.

Anthropic was founded in 2021 by OpenAI’s former VP of research Dario Amodei (CEO), Jack Clark, Sam McCandlish, and Tom Brown. Sensing that generative artificial intelligence is going to have a major impact on the world, Dario struck out with his sister Daniela to create “large-scale AI systems that are steerable, interpretable, and robust.” Before co-founding Anthropic, Daniela Amodei was OpenAI’s vice president of safety and policy.

The startup came into the spotlight following the popularity of ChatGPT. The startup is recognized as one of the primary competitors to OpenAI. The potential deal for Anthropic, known for the Claude chatbot, underscores the continued strong interest of venture capital investors in major AI transactions, especially when the startups in question are generating substantial revenue.

The popularity of OpenAI ChatGPT has now led to a boom in the adoption of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and big tech companies and small startups alike are in a race to integrate it into their products. Since its launch in November, ChatGPT has impressed many experts with its writing ability, software coding, proficiency in handling complex tasks, and its ease of use.

In May 2021, the startup raised $124 million in funding from high-profile investors led by Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, with participation from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, James McClave, Dustin Moskovitz, and the Center for Emerging Risk Research, among others.