Generative AI continues to be a hotbed for innovation, with startups like Together securing substantial investments to drive their ambitions. In a recent announcement, Together disclosed a significant $102.5 million Series A funding round led by Kleiner Perkins, featuring prominent players like Nvidia and Emergence Capital. This funding injection is set to propel Together’s cloud platform, designed for training generative AI models, to new heights.
Founded in June 2022 by Vipul Ved Prakash, Ce Zhang, Chris Re, and Percy Liang, Together is a startup committed to advancing open source generative AI and AI model development infrastructure. The team envisions a future where businesses can craft generative AI strategies free from vendor lock-ins. Together’s cloud platform allows developers to build on both open and custom AI models, offering scalable compute at competitive prices compared to industry giants like Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure.
Expanding the Cloud Platform
The recent funding, over five times the size of the previous round, will be directed towards expanding Together’s cloud platform. This platform empowers developers to create and fine-tune AI models efficiently, with the added advantage of cost-effectiveness. The company optimizes down the stack, utilizing thousands of GPUs across multiple secure facilities, resulting in significant reductions in operating costs.
Pika Labs Collaboration
Pika Labs, another player in the generative AI landscape, recently raised $55 million and collaborated with Together. They leveraged Together’s GPU clusters to build a text-to-video model, emphasizing the economic benefits of custom infrastructure creation. Together’s platform enables developers to integrate open source models seamlessly or create their own, providing industry-leading performance and reliability.
Custom Models and Open Source AI Research
Apart from its cloud service, Together offers Custom Models, a consulting service enabling customers to bring their own data to the platform. The company also heavily invests in open source AI research, contributing to projects like RedPajama, GPT-JT, and OpenChatKit. This commitment reflects Together’s dedication to fostering innovation in the generative AI space.
About the Funding
The substantial $102.5 million funding is a testament to the growing interest in generative AI. Investors recognize the potential, with IDC predicting generative AI investments to surge from $16 billion in 2023 to an astounding $143 billion by 2027. Together’s success adds to the trend, with generative AI firms securing about 40% of all startup rounds, totaling $11.9 billion in the first half of 2023.
Together‘s recent funding milestone highlights the increasing importance of generative AI in shaping the future of technology. The company’s commitment to open source models, cost-effective cloud platforms, and collaborative partnerships positions it as a key player in the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence.
Why is open source AI important for businesses?
Open source AI provides businesses with the flexibility to develop generative AI strategies without being tied to a single vendor. This fosters innovation, choice, and cost-effectiveness in AI applications.
How does Together’s cloud platform differ from major vendors like Google Cloud and AWS?
Together’s cloud platform offers scalable compute at lower prices by optimizing down the stack, utilizing thousands of GPUs, and providing significant cost reductions for interactive inference workloads on large models.
What projects has Together contributed to in open source AI research?
Together has been actively involved in projects like RedPajama, GPT-JT, and OpenChatKit, aiming to advance generative AI models and contribute to the broader AI research community.