Korean Startup Raises $72M to Build Custom Large Language Models

Upstage AI has raised more than $100 million and is expanding to the U.S.

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

April 17, 2024

2 Min Read
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South Korean startup Upstage AI has raised $72 million in series B funding to develop customized large language models for enterprises.

Founded in October 2020, Upstage builds custom large language models, working with businesses to tailor AI models for specific domains. Its flagship Solar LLM model is powering use cases in industrial environments.

Korean telco KT joined SK Networks and Hana Ventures in leading the round. Mirae Asset Venture Investment and IBK Securities joined existing investors SBVA (formerly SoftBank Ventures Asia), Premier Partners and Primer Sazze.

The round brings Upstage’s total capital raised to more than $100 million. This latest raise makes Upstage the most-funded AI software company in South Korean history, the company claimed.

Upstage will use the funds to accelerate the development of its AI models and fund its U.S. expansion with a new office in San Jose, California. 

"We're thrilled to extend our strong success in South Korea to a global audience," said Sung Kim, Upstage’s CEO and co-founder. "This funding will help us build the world's best generative AI model and deliver the ultimate 'artificial general intelligence for work' solution to businesses worldwide."

The startup’s Solar LLM can run on-prem or through cloud-based APIs like Amazon SageMaker JumpStart. 

Related:South Korea Commits $6.8B to Boost AI Chip Development, Production

Companies have the option to collaborate with the startup to create their own personalized model, as Upstage claims it can develop systems "irrespective of the setting."

Upstage is currently working on developing industry-specific AI agents powered by its Solar LLM, including for health care, finance and law, according to the company’s website.

The company has also built a platform for analyzing enterprise data. Document AI can extract relevant information from tables or reports and then export insights to databases. Upstage listed Samsung and Hanwha among the companies using Document AI.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

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.

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