AI21 Labs raises $64M to help it compete against OpenAI

AI21 Labs has raised $64 million in funding to compete with OpenAI and other NLP leaders.

NLP (Natural Language Processing) competition is heating up. With its GPT-3 model, OpenAI is now regarded as the industry leader, although competitors are gaining traction.

AI21 Labs is regarded as one of the most promising candidates by investors.

“We completed this round during a period of market uncertainty, which highlights the confidence our investors have in AI21’s vision to change the way people consume and produce information,” said Ori Goshen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of AI21 Labs.

“The funding will allow us to accelerate the company’s global growth while continuing to develop advanced technology in the field of natural language processing. We are looking forward to growing our team and our offerings.”

The latest funding round was led by Ahren and brings AI21 Labs’ valuation to $664 million.

“NLP has reached a critical inflection point and AI21 has developed unique infrastructure and products to successfully serve a large and rapidly growing market” commented Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founding and General Partner of Ahren.

“We consider this team to be of the highest calibre, both technically and commercially, leading a differentiated company in a transformative space.”

The Jurassic-1 Jumbo model from AI21 Labs is roughly the size of GPT-3. The company has steadily built products around it, including its AI21 Studio ‘AI-as-a-Service’ platform.

Wordtune, an AI writing tool with millions of active users that Google selected as one of its favourite extensions for 2021, is one of the consumer-facing products launched by AI21 Labs.

Wordtune Read, another tool, can analyse and summarise documents in seconds, allowing users to read vast and complex content fast and efficiently.

According to a poll conducted last year by John Snow Labs, 60% of budgets for NLP technology increased by at least 10% in 2020, while 33% increased by 30%, and 15% more than doubled.

AI21 Labs and other NLP professionals stand to earn tremendously from the clear demand for such technology in the next years.

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