AI Startup Roundup: Musk’s XAI to Open Source Grok Model

Also - AI-powered platforms for emergency services and AI tools for dentists

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

March 11, 2024

4 Min Read
Elon Musk silhouetted on a black background. Musk's xAI startup will open sourcing its Grok AI model later this week.
'OpenAI is a lie' says Elon as Grok launch coincides with ChatGPT maker feudSergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

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Grok is going open source

XAI, the Elon Musk-founded startup attempting to rival OpenAI, will officially launch its Grok model this week.

XAI unveiled Grok last November. Musk announced via X (Twitter) that the model will be available via open source “this week.”

View post on X

Grok is a chatbot to challenge ChatGPT, though it boasts fewer filters and an added flair of wit and sarcasm. It took the team behind it just four months to build, having leveraged a PromptIDE, an in-house toolkit that enables test prompts to be refined at scale.

Previously, Grok was only accessible via an early access program – which was limited to  Premium+ subscribers. By taking it open source, businesses and individuals could access Grok and use it to power their own applications.

The move comes after Musk sued OpenAI over claims its deal with Microsoft breached the startup’s founding agreement to remain an AI research nonprofit.

OpenAI has since rebuffed Musk’s suit, publishing a series of emails showing that he supported their for-profit pivot and agreed some science cannot be shared.

Related:AI News Roundup: Is Nvidia’s New Chip a 1000-watt Power Hog?

One user responding to his tweet said OpenAI should make their models open source, to which Musk replied: “OpenAI is a lie.”

Funding news


New Yori-based RapidSOS built an AI-powered Intelligent Safety Platform to help emergency service teams manage responses. The platform connects data points from over 540 million devices in schools, trains, buildings and personal devices to public safety agencies and first responders, providing them with information to help with response recommendations and predictive incident awareness and modeling.

Latest funding: $150 million, series C

Lead investors: Funds and accounts managed by BlackRock

Other investors: NightDragon, BAM Elevate, Insight Partners, the private investment division of Balyasny Asset Management, Manhattan Venture Partners, Acrew Capital, Harmonic Growth Partners


Boston-based Overjet provides AI tools for the dental industry. Its platform is designed to help dental professionals diagnose issues and recommend care. It is built to work in tandem with human judgment.

Latest funding: $53.2 million, series C

Lead investors: March Capital

Other investors: General Catalyst, Insight Partners, E14 Fund, Crosslink Capital, Spring Rock Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Harmonic Growth Partners, the American Dental Association.

Related:This Week's Most Read: Anthropic, Musk Take on OpenAI

Funding plans: Wardah Inam, Overjet's CEO, said: “This funding will help us further accelerate our mission to improve patient outcomes — by making dental AI ubiquitous."


Toronto-based Taalas emerged from stealth to launch a direct-to-silicon foundry.

The startup is building chips that hold an entire large language model without requiring external memory. Taalas claims a single one of its chips could outperform a small GPU data center.

Latest funding: $50 million - split across a seed round and series A

Lead investors: Quiet Capita, Pierre Lamond of Eclipse Ventures

Funding plans: Taalas will make its first LLM chip in Q3 2024 and make it available to customers in Q1 2025.

Adaptive ML

Adaptive was founded by a team that contributed to open-source models like Bloom and Falcon. Their new venture aims to build tools that would allow large language models to be tailored for specific business needs and applications.

Latest funding: $20 million, seed round

Lead investors: Index Ventures

Other investors: ICONIQ Capital, Motier Ventures, Databricks Ventures, IRIS, HuggingFund by Factorial

Funding plans: The company has already shipped the first version of its enterprise platform and will use the funds to invest in research, product development and grow its teams in Paris and New York.


London-based Fluent is building business intelligence tools for non-technical users. The startup adds a large model that users can interact with - like asking questions to obtain insights about their data.

Latest funding: $7.5 million, seed round

Lead investors: Hoxton Ventures, Tiferes Ventures

Funding plans: Fluent plans to build out its engineering team


Newly emerging from stealth, Sahara claims to offer a “decentralized AI network” to enable autonomous AI to be deployed “freely and securely.”

Saraha’s decentralized AI infrastructure is designed to ensure businesses or individuals deploying AI will have their data protected while maintaining high performance.

Latest funding: $6 million, seed round

Lead investors: Polychain Capital

Other investors: Sequoia Capital, Samsung Next, Matrix Partners, Motherson Group, dao5, Geekcartel, Canonical Crypto, Nomad Capital, Dispersion Capital, Alumni Ventures, Tangent Ventures, Coho Deeptech

Funding plans: Sahara will use the funds to expand its team and expand its product portfolio.

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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