Also – OpenAI Chair Bret Taylor’s AI agent endeavor and an AI cybersecurity startup

Deborah Yao, Editor

February 19, 2024

2 Min Read
SoftBank building sign
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SoftBank raising funds to compete against Nvidia

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is trying to raise as much as $100 billion to fund a venture that would supply AI chips to compete with Nvidia, according to Bloomberg.

The venture would complement the business of British chip designer Arm, in which SoftBank retains a 90% stake after its IPO. SoftBank could provide $30 billion, with the rest coming from institutions in the Middle East.

SoftBank’s market value has soared by $50 billion in the past week after a run up in Arm shares.

Funding news

Lambda Labs

San Jose, California-based Lambda Labs is a hardware and cloud startup that offers on-demand and reserved GPUs for AI training and inference. “This AI rollout is going to require a lot of GPUs. This latest financing supports our mission to make GPU compute as ubiquitous as electricity,” said Lambda CEO and co-founder, Stephen Balaban, in a statement.

Latest funding: $320 million, series C

Lead investor: U.S. Innovative Technology Fund

Other investors: B Capital, SK Telecom, T. Rowe Price Associates, Crescent Cove, Mercato Partners, 1517 Fund, Bloomberg Beta, and Gradient Ventures, among others. 

Funding plans: Lambda will use the funds to expand its AI cloud business, including on-demand and reserved offerings.

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Sierra

Sierra is a San Francisco-based conversational AI startup aiming to elevate the customer experience through AI agents. It was founded by Bret Taylor, OpenAI chair and the former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Google executive Clay Bavor.

Latest funding: $110 million, according to Fortune

Lead investors: Sequoia Capital and Benchmark

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Xensam

Xensam is a Swedish startup that provides AI-powered software assessment management to help businesses manage applications, track usage, identify overspending and maintain compliance.

Latest funding: $40 million

Lead investor: Expedition Growth Capital

Funding plans: The startup plans to use the funding to invest in AI product development and expand operations in the U.S. and Europe.

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Clarity

Clarity is an Israeli AI cybersecurity startup whose platform detects deepfakes in real time and at scale.

Latest funding: $16 million, seed funding

Lead investor: Walden Catalyst and Bessemer Ventures Partners

Funding plans: Funds will be used to double-down on its core research efforts and provide best-in-class solutions to the most critical infrastructure in society.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Deborah Yao

Editor

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.

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