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Google and NVIDIA-backed Israeli AI unicorn AI21 completes $208M round at $1.4B valuation

AI21 founders
Picture credits: AI21

Israeli unicorn AI21 has completed the $208 million Series C funding round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. Earlier this year, the company raised $155 million in the Series C round. The round saw participation from additional new investors – Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation, and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital arm of Comcast Corporation, alongside previous investors. 

This new round of funding brings the company’s total capital raised to $336 million, accelerating AI21’s purpose-driven approach in the era of AI-first enterprises. 

AI system for enterprises

Founded in 2017 by AI luminaries Prof. Amnon Shasuha, Prof. Yoav Shoham, and Ori Goshen in Tel Aviv, AI21 was one of the first to bring generative AI to the masses. AI21’s unique approach goes beyond models, building AI systems that are easy to integrate and that generate reliable, trustworthy, and accurate results with more refined control than any standalone existing model. 

With the developer platform AI21 Studio, businesses can build their own generative AI-driven applications and services with the world’s most advanced family of language models, Jurassic-2. AI21’s consumer product,

AI21 Studio is a platform that provides API access to developers and businesses with top-tier natural language processing (NLP) solutions powered by AI21’s state-of-the-art language models. The platform’s Task-Specific Models, optimised Language Models (LLMs), are specifically engineered to excel in distinct natural language processing (NLP) capabilities. These models not only showcase exceptional performance in accuracy but also effectively reduce hallucinations, ensuring heightened reliability. 

AI21 has established collaborations with market-leading customers in diverse sectors, among them Carrefour, Clarivate, eBay, Guesty, and Ubisoft.

“A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to deliver AI to the end user,” said Anthony Lin, Corporate Vice President and Head of Intel Capital. “The AI21 full-stack offering combines foundation models with successful applications and operation tools that will help enterprises accelerate GenAI adoption to increase productivity and affect their bottom and top line.”

“We are impressed with the strong team at AI21 and their ability to scale quickly in a rapidly evolving Generative AI landscape,” said Allison Goldberg, SVP and Managing Partner, Comcast Ventures and Startup Engagement. “We look forward to seeing how AI21 will deliver enterprise solutions to strategically leverage this technology in a way that is meaningful and reliable.”

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of our investors who believe in our deep technology expertise. This funding will enable AI21 to increase mindshare that one size doesn’t fit all, as enterprises look for unique partners that understand their specific needs. Mass deployment of AI requires deep understanding of high-performance language models that can deliver better value and impact. Our approach is about designing AI with purpose, making it significantly more efficient than building from scratch, and much more cost effective,” said Ori Goshen, co-CEO and co-founder of AI21.

“We will see an increasing shift in discussion to AI Systems that will define the next era in computing. By adopting a more comprehensive systems approach, our AI enriches LLMs with knowledge and reasoning, in addition to statistical inference. This enables us to define a flexible architecture with multiple LLMs, complemented by discrete knowledge and reasoning modules,” said Prof. Yoav Shoham, co-founder and co-CEO, AI21.

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