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Google in talks to invest $200 million in Cohere

The artificial intelligence start-up creates natural language processing that software developers can use to build business applications

Google in talks to invest $200 million in Cohere

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON October 25, 2022 2:46 PM

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is reportedly in talks to invest around $200 million into Canadian start-up Cohere Inc, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. The artificial intelligence start-up had announced a multiyear partnership with Google for the supply of computing power needed for training its software models.

Sources told The WSJ that Cohere is also discussing the possibility of raising strategic investment from chipmaker Nvidia Corp. It uses the Nvidia Triton Inference Server as its inference server framework since it provides the flexibility of choosing different backend frameworks and allows Cohere’s team to evaluate a selection of backends and identify the one best suited to its platform needs.

While the tech majors refused to comment to WSJ, Cohere chose not to respond. 

The Toronto-based start-up creates natural language processing (NLP) software that developers can use to build artificial intelligence (AI) business applications. Its platform can generate or analyse human speech and text to write copy, moderate content, classify data and extract information at a massive scale. This toolkit can be leveraged in conversational commerce, including chatbots. 

Nick Frosst, Ivan Zhang and Aidan Gomez co-founded Cohere in 2019 in Toronto. Frosst and Gomez had worked at Google Brain, one of Google’s AI research divisions. Fellow Google Cloud AI colleagues like chief scientist Fei-Fei Li and Google fellow Geoffrey Hinton were amongst its early backers.

The company started its operations in 2019 with a $40 million Series A funding round led by Index Ventures with participation from other investors, including Turing Award winner Geoffrey Hinton, Fei-Fei Li, Waabi’s founder and chief executive officer Raquel Urtasun, the director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence (BAIR) Lab Professor Pieter Abbeel and associate professor at University of Toronto and vice president of AI Research at Nvidia, Sanja Fidler.

In February, the start-up raised $125 million from institutional venture capital firms, including Tiger Global Management and Index Ventures, which brought its total funding to $170 million.  

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