Anthropic, one of OpenAI’s primary competitors, is reportedly discussing with investors to raise at least $2 billion in fresh capital, following Amazon’s pledge last week to spend $1.25 billion in the business.
Google, which acquired an approximately 10% investment in the business in 2022, is also anticipated to invest in the round, according to the company.
The two-year-old business, which is known for Claude, a chatbot that competes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, is, therefore, seeking a valuation of $20 billion to $30 billion, including the latest funding.
That would result in a quintupling of the company’s worth since investors placed a $4 billion value on it in March, making its shares far more expensive than those of OpenAI regarding their valuation multiple on revenue.
Be it as it may, as Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial got underway, this move gave creditors of the insolvent cryptocurrency exchange FTX cause for optimism.
When news of the money became public, a group of FTX creditors known as the FTX 2.0 Coalition posted on X that it might be able to make them whole.
Anthropic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to an internal document distributed before last November’s bankruptcy filing, FTX and its sister company, trading firm Alameda Research, invested $500 million in Anthropic.
According to research firm PitchBook, FTX co-founder Bankman-Fried, former engineering chief Nishad Singh, and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison were also investors in Anthropic.
Anthropic is a highly regarded company in the AI industry’s current surge, and owning equity in this startup is among the most coveted assets on FTX’s platform.
Despite strong demand on the secondary market for Anthropic shares, the cryptocurrency exchange’s restructuring managers put a stop to the sale of its Anthropic stake last summer. One of FTX’s largest bets in its extensive venture portfolio is the startup.
However, it may take some time for FTX creditors to recover their losses from an Anthropic sale. A stock exchange debut for the AI startup may be years away, given the ongoing downturn in initial public offerings and the growing number of businesses choosing to remain private rather than go public.
FTX had a $9 billion hole in it when it declared bankruptcy. The FTX estate has reportedly recovered “$7B in liquid assets so far” since that time, leaving $2 billion. The creditors could greatly benefit from FTX’s investment in Anthropic.
As the trial of Bankman-Fried goes on, there is also the legal ambiguity surrounding FTX’s status. Authorities claim that Bankman-Fried utilized FTX customer funds improperly to invest in business ventures.
In a bankruptcy filing, FTX also claimed that Ellison, who has already admitted guilt to counts of fraud, paid herself a bonus of $22.5 million that she shouldn’t have, using $10 million of it to fund an AI firm. Ellison only has one personal investment recorded on PitchBook: Anthropic.
According to Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, if FTX liquidators operate wisely and in the best interests of creditors, the Anthropic share might significantly increase the recovery odds and even result in a complete recovery.
Recently, Google confirmed it plans to spend up to $2 billion in Anthropic, a firm that develops generative artificial intelligence.
The company already invested $300 million for a 10% share in the business in late 2022, but Anthropic’s price has since skyrocketed due to the generative AI revolution.
According to report, Google plans to invest $1.5 billion in addition to the $500 million it will put in up front.
Whether any cloud computing credits are included in the investment is unknown. Following the first $300 million investment, Anthropic declared that Google Cloud would be its preferred platform.
However, competitor Amazon said in September that it will become Anthropic’s main cloud provider by investing up to $4 billion in the company. The two businesses declared that they would work together on Trainium and Inferentia chip development in the future.
Google’s investment marks the latest move in an emerging proxy battle among tech giants, with few players capable of challenging OpenAI and Anthropic in the domain of large language models. While these companies excel in various tech domains, creating a formidable competitor in the realm of large language models remains a significant challenge.