Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Nvidia Pour Cash Into AI Startup

Anthropic AI is suddenly valued at $4 billion after the launch of Pi, a chatbot with a "high emotional intelligence."

Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates
Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates are betting on A.I. startups. Getty Images

The crowded generative artificial intelligence race just saw another rising star: Inflection AI, a startup barely two years old, is suddenly worth $4 billion after a fundraising round this week and seems to have rounded up every power investor in the buzzing A.I. space. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company raised $1.3 billion yesterday (June 29) in a round led by Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Reid Hoffman, Microsoft (MSFT) and new investor Nvidia (NVDA), Forbes first reported.

Inflection AI is cofounded and led by Mustafa Suleyman, a founding researcher of Google’s DeepMind lab, and incubated by Greylock Partners, a venture capital firm owned by LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman.

Its main product is a ChatGPT-like text generator called Pi, which launched in May. Pi is powered by Inflection’s in-house technology that prioritizes human conversations with a high level of emotional intelligence, which allows it to conduct conversations in a more human-like way than its competing applications like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, the company claims.

With Pi, we set out to create a personal AI that is as flexible as it is powerful, so millions of people can use it to make their lives more meaningful, more productive, and more fun,” Hoffman said in a statement when unveiling Pi last month.

That approach, which focuses on improving certain aspects of generative A.I. rather than building overall more powerful chatbots, is an increasingly appealing value proposition among A.I. startups. For example, Anthropic, a San Francisco AI company founded in 2021, seeks to train language models that are “safer and more aligned with human values,” said its co-founder and president Daniela Amodei in a podcast recently.

Anthropic was also recently valued at more than $4 billion. Its investors include Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz, FTX cofounder Sam Bankman-Fried and Salesforce.

It doesn’t do lists, or coding, it doesn’t do travel plans, it won’t write your marketing strategy or your essay for school,” Inflection CEO Suleyman said in an interview with the Financial Times in May. “It’s purely designed for relaxed, supportive, informative conversation.”

Inflection’s relationship with its investors goes beyond financial ties. Microsoft provides the startup with cloud computing infrastructure in addition to equity investment. Nvidia has been working with Inflection on deploying its H100 graphics processing units (GPUs) in large language model training.

Inflection said it will use the freshly raised capital to further fund the development of Pi. “I think people can see that it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Suleyman told Forbes yesterday. “There’s so much further to go after [Pi] validates the core thesis, which is that conversation is the new interface.”

Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Nvidia Pour Cash Into AI Startup