On Wednesday, Claude AI developer Anthropic confirmed talks to raise $750 million in new investments led by Menlo Ventures, putting the valuation of the San Francisco-based company at around $18 billion once the funding round is completed.
The raise was first reported by The Information, and a source with direct knowledge of the investment confirmed to Decrypt that the $750 million funding target is correct—but clarified that the Anthropic valuation of $18.4 billion is pre-round. The previously reported $20-30 billion target valuation was only a rumor, the source said, and declined to disclose who else might be joining in on the raise.
The Anthropic news represents only the latest large investment interest in the OpenAI rival, which launched its Claude 2 AI chatbot to the public in July after an initial launch in March.
In September, Amazon invested $4 billion in Anthropic, followed by a $2 billion investment from Google, which was vastly upping its contribution after investing $400 million in February.
Menlo Park-based Menlo Ventures announced its initial investment in Anthropic in May.
“The Anthropic team has been at the forefront of almost all the innovations in generative AI since its earliest days,” Menlo Ventures investors Andreas Vandris, Derek Xiao, and partner Matt Murphy wrote. “Anthropic was founded as a focused bet on safety research—the team wanted to create a race to the top on safety and build reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems.”
Responsible AI development has been a hot topic of discussion in the year following the launch of OpenAI’s GPT-4.
In July, Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic formed the Frontier Model Forum to ensure safe and responsible use of the development of “frontier AI models.”
Earlier this year, Anthropic joined with OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft again, pledging to work towards safely developing AI after a meeting with the Biden Administration. Then in October, Anthropic partnered with the Collective Intelligence Project to democratize the development of artificial intelligence.
“AI is going to have a transformative impact on the world,” Collective Intelligence Project co-founder Divya Siddarth told Decrypt at the time. “Yet very few people get to decide exactly what that looks like. We wanted to build processes so that wouldn’t be true anymore.”
While Google and Amazon continue to pour money into Anthropic, Microsoft remains committed to its long and lucrative partnership with ChatGPT creator OpenAI. Sam Altman was reinstated as CEO after being unceremoniously removed in November, and as part of his return Microsoft—which has so far invested over $10 billion in OpenAI—joined the company’s board in a non-voting capacity.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.