AI Startup Roundup: Customizable AI Chatbots from Google LaMDA Devs

Also, startup developing androids, provider of instant pay to workers backed by Will Smith, and an IP search tool solutions vendor

3 Min Read

Every week, AI Business brings you the latest startup news.

From funding rounds to acquisitions, product launches to partnerships, AI Business covers everything artificial intelligence.

To keep up to date on all things AI, subscribe to the AI Business newsletter to get content straight to your inbox and follow the AI Business Podcast on Apple and Spotify.

Funding blitz

Startup: Character.AI - Based in Palo Alto, California, Character.AI offers fully customizable and personalized AI chatbots. It was founded by former Google LaMDA developers Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas.

Character has developed millions of AI characters for people to connect and use. The startup said that since launching its platform last September, it recorded nearly 100 million monthly site visits. Users have created more than 2.7 million characters. The platform launched with fewer than 100.

Latest funding: $150 million, series A

Lead Investor: Andreessen Horowitz

Notable investors: Former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Mixer Labs co-founder Elad Gil

Other Investors: SV Angel, A Capital

Funding plans: The funds will go towards Character.AI expanding its computing abilities to build a “more sophisticated model with advanced reasoning and greater accuracy.” The startup is also looking to expand its engineering team.


Startup: Rain – Los Angeles-based startup that lets employers pay workers shortly after finishing a shift instead of having them wait for a payday. It is free to employers but workers pay a fee to access the funds.

Latest funding: $116 million ($66 million in equity, $50 million debt), series A

Lead Investors: QED Investors and Invus Opportunities

Other Investors: Dreamers VC, founded by actor Will Smith, WndrCo, Tribe Capital. Debt facility arranged by Sound Point Capital Management LP

Funding plans: Funds will be used to support continued U.S. expansion through investments in technology and infrastructure, employee and employer experience and marketing.


Startup: 1X – Norwegian maker of humanoid robots capable of fluid, human-like movements and behaviors (formerly Halodi Robotics)

Latest funding: $23.5 million, series A2

Lead Investor: OpenAI Startup Fund

Other Investors: Tiger Global, Sandwater, Alliance Ventures, Skagerak Capital and others

Funding plans: Funds will be used towards advancing development of its android called NEO and expanding commercial production of android EVE in Norway and North America.


Startup: Coactive AI - San Jose, California-based visual content labeling and analytics company

Latest funding: $14 million, combined seed and series A

Lead investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners

Other Investors: SV Angel, AME Cloud Ventures, Cloud All Star Fund, Next Play Capital, Exceptional Capital, ImageNet inventor Fei-Fei Li, former Pinterest chief scientist, Jure Leskovec

Funding plans: Coactive will use the funds to expand its business reach and development efforts.


Startup: IPRally - Based in Helsinki, Finland, IPRally offers an AI-powered intellectual property search tool.

IPRally’s platform allows IP and R&D professionals to find, analyze and classify patent information. Its graph neural network enables both technical and semantic understanding of global patent data to power searches.

Latest funding: $10.7 million, series A

Lead Investor: Endeit Capital

Other Investors: Join Capital, Spintop Ventures and Icebreaker

Funding plans: IPRally will use the funds for product development and to expand the company.


Startup:– Seattle startup that developed a marketplace for renewable energy certificates and clean energy tax credits

Latest funding: $6.1 million, seed funding

Lead Investors: Designer Fund and PSL Ventures

Other Investors: Baker Tilly, Fin Capital, City Light Capital and Climate Capital

Funding plans: Grow its team and further develop its platform

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Deborah Yao


Deborah Yao runs the day-to-day operations of AI Business. She is a Stanford grad who has worked at Amazon, Wharton School and Associated Press.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like