OpenAI Acquires Rockset to Boost ChatGPT Performance

OpenAI acquires database startup Rockset, aiming to improve ChatGPT response times with real-time indexing

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 24, 2024

3 Min Read
A smartphone screen displaying the logo of OpenAI juxtaposed with a photo of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

OpenAI has acquired real-time database startup Rockset to enhance its AI infrastructure and improve performance across its products, including ChatGPT.

Founded in 2016, San Mateo-based Rockset specializes in real-time indexing databases, enabling enterprises to build and scale cloud-native data applications.

Real-time indexing allows databases to instantly process and make new data available for queries, which is crucial for AI applications that require rapid response times.

The startup has raised a total of $105 million, including $44 million in a funding round last August from backers including Icon Ventures, Glynn Capital and Sequoia.

While no financial details of the latest deal were disclosed, reports say it's believed to be in the nine-figure range.

Announcing the deal on X (Twitter), OpenAI said the acquisition will empower users to transform their data into actionable intelligence.

“Rockset’s infrastructure empowers companies to transform their data into actionable intelligence. We’re excited to bring these benefits to our customers by integrating Rockset’s foundation into OpenAI products,” said Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s chief operating officer.

Venkat Venkataramani, Rockset’s CEO, said that while language models have become more advanced, the underlying infrastructure has largely stayed the same.

Related:Former OpenAI Co-Founder Ilya Sutskever Launches Rival Research Lab

The startup’s CEO said the deal  OpenAI solve database problems that AI apps face on a massive scale.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said at last year’s DevDay that ChatGPT had 100 million weekly users. Similarweb figures for June 2024 state the web version of ChatGPT has received 637.1 million total visitors.

Rockset’s database technology will be integrated into OpenAI’s stack to power its retrieval infrastructure, enabling its products to generate faster query responses and ultimately enhance overall performance and user experience.

“We’re excited to be joining OpenAI to empower users, enterprises and developers to fully leverage their data by bringing powerful retrieval to AI,” said Venkataramani. “With this acquisition, what we’ve developed over the years will help make AI accessible to all in a safe and beneficial way.”

Rockset previously marketed itself as an alternative to Elasticsearch, the search engine based on the Lucene library that’s widely used in enterprise applications.

The startup argued that, unlike Elasticsearch, which forces users to combine compute and storage, making application scaling difficult, its cloud-native solution allows users to run multiple applications on a single dataset and avoid server overloads during peak times.

Related:OpenAI Chief Architect Predicts Huge Large Language Model Leaps

Moving beyond Elasticsearch, Rockset joins an AI company looking to improve user experiences for enterprises and consumers, while continuing to scale. OpenAI is set to launch overhauled voice capabilities in the coming weeks as well as integrations into Apple devices such as iPhone, iPad and Mac.

With Rockset’s database solutions integrated behind the scenes, the OpenAI models powering the new capabilities would be able to provide more responsive interactions while handling larger volumes of input data.

The acquisition will not immediately impact Rockset customers, but they will gradually transition away from their current solutions. The newly acquired startup said it’s committed to ensuring a smooth process for all customers.

Rockset is OpenAI’s second acquisition.
Last August the Microsoft-backed company acquired Global Illumination, which built creative tools and experiences using AI.

Read more about:

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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