AI startup Anthropic – As the e-commerce giant ramps up competition against Microsoft, Meta, Google, and Nvidia in the quickly expanding, hotly debated industry that many experts feel could be the next great frontier, Amazon said on Monday that it had agreed to invest up to $4 billion in AI startup Anthropic.
A minority interest in Anthropic, which runs a generative AI chat platform like Google’s Bard and OpenAI, would initially cost the e-commerce company $1.25 billion, according to the announcement. According to the agreement, Amazon has the option to increase its investment in Anthropic to a total of $4 billion.
Anthropic, which also counts Google as an investor, had expected to raise as much as $5 billion over the following two to three years, according to an exclusive story by TechCrunch earlier this year. According to an investor deck obtained earlier this year, Anthropic, which earlier this month announced the launch of its first consumer-facing premium subscription plan for its AI-powered, text-analysis chatbot Claude 2, plans to build a “frontier model” — proviso-named “Claude-Next” — that is 10 times more capable than today’s most powerful AI.
However, the startup has cautioned that this development would cost $1 billion over the following 18 months to complete.
Anthropic will use AWS as its primary cloud provider for mission-critical workloads, such as safety research and the development of future foundation models, as part of an agreement with Amazon, the e-commerce company stated. Anthropic will also develop, train, and deploy its upcoming foundation models using AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips.
“We have tremendous respect for Anthropic’s team and foundation models, and believe we can help improve many customer experiences, short and long-term, through our deeper collaboration,” said Andy Jassy, Amazon chief executive, in a statement.
“Customers are quite excited about Amazon Bedrock, AWS’s new managed service that enables companies to use various foundation models to build generative AI applications on top of, as well as AWS Trainium, AWS’s AI training chip, and our collaboration with Anthropic should help customers get even more value from these two capabilities.”
Anthropic has now raised a total of $2.7 billion from investors, including Spark Capital, Salesforce, Sound Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Zoom. When it received $450 million in May of this year, its estimated value was $5 billion.
With the agreement with Anthropic, Amazon, which is flexing its own AI muscles more and more, gets a front-row seat at one of the AI firms that is expanding the quickest. Dario Amodei, chief executive and co-founder of Anthropic said last week to the TechCrunch Disrupt crowd that he doesn’t see any roadblocks looming for his company’s key technology.
“The last 10 years, there’s been this remarkable increase in the scale that we’ve used to train neural nets and we keep scaling them up, and they keep working better and better,” he said last week. “That’s the basis of my feeling that what we’re going to see in the next 2, 3, 4 years… what we see today is going to pale in comparison to that.”
According to Amazon, as part of the agreement, Anthropic has pledged to give AWS customers all over the world access to future versions of its foundation models through Amazon Bedrock, AWS’s fully managed offering that offers secure access to the best foundation models in the sector. Additionally, Anthropic will give AWS users early access to special tools that allow for model customization and fine-tuning capabilities.
It’s worth noting that the AI industry is rapidly evolving, and the status of startups like Anthropic may as well change the face of the game as we can perceive already. They are getting the right traction and putting in the work, lets see what becomes of them in the near future.