Generative AI startup Together AI raises $106M in funding led by Salesforce; now valued at $1.25 billion

The surge in artificial intelligence frenzy that started in 2022 with the introduction of chatGPT is showing no signs of slowing down, with investors increasingly betting big on innovative generative AI startups. The most recent beneficiary of this funding wave is Together AI, an Nvidia-backed AI startup that provides a cloud-based platform designed for developing and deploying open-source generative AI and models.

Announcing its latest funding milestone on Tuesday, Together AI revealed raised a massive $106 million in new funding, valuing the company at a formidable $1.25 billion. The round was led by Salesforce Ventures, with participation from a consortium of influential investors, including Coatue Management and stalwarts such as Lux Capital and Emergence Capital.

“I am excited to share that we’ve raised $106M in a new round of financing led by Salesforce Ventures with participation from Coatue, and existing investors, Lux Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Emergence Capital, Prosperity7 Ventures, NEA, Greycroft, Definition Capital, Long Journey Ventures, Scott Banister, and SV Angel,” Together co-founder and CEO Vipul Ved Prakash said in a blog post.

Together will use the fresh capital infusion to boost its expansion plans. The funding comes hot on the heels of our coverage last November, when Together secured $102.5 million in a series A funding round led by Kleiner Perkins, accompanied by Nvidia.

Since its inception about two years ago, Together AI has established itself as a leading AI platform for open-source models globally. With more than 45,000 registered developers utilizing our serverless APIs for inference and fine-tuning, our platform is experiencing exponential growth, tripling month over month in terms of traffic.

Founded in June 2022 by CEO Vipul Ved Prakash, Ce Zhang, Chris Re, and Percy Liang, Together has curated a cadre of elite scientists and engineers. Vipul, former founder of social media search platform Topsy (acquired by Apple in 2013), underscored the pivotal role of generative AI as a foundational technology with sweeping implications across diverse sectors.

At the helm of innovation, Chief Scientist Tri Dao and his collaborators unveiled FlashAttention v2 earlier this year, a pivotal tool adopted by industry juggernauts like OpenAI, Anthropic, Meta, and Mistral for developing cutting-edge Language and Learning Models (LLMs). Leveraging techniques such as Medusa and Flash-Decoding, Together has engineered the fastest inference stack for transformer models, accessible through its Inference API, enabling swift access to over 100 open models for expedited inference.

“We believe that the future of generative AI depends on open research, open science, and trust between developers and enterprises,” shared Jade Lai, Partner, Coatue. “Together AI has emerged as an open-source leader through its contributions to the community, including research on compute optimizations, novel model architectures, and data curation. Combined with their focus on the developer experience, Together AI has thoughtfully designed the right API abstractions that will position them well to be a de facto platform for developers to build production AI apps in the future.”

Furthermore, Together’s research lab is pioneering sub-quadratic models, heralding a more compute-efficient paradigm for long-context AI models. Currently operating sprawling data centers across Europe and the US, Together commands an impressive 20 exaflops of compute power collectively. Noteworthy clients such as Pika Labs, NexusFlow, Voyage AI, and Cartesia leverage Together’s model-serving APIs to drive innovation in their respective domains.

Overall, the surge in AI startup investments since the advent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT underscores investors’ confidence in firms poised to challenge industry incumbents. Together AI stands at the forefront of this AI renaissance, poised to reshape the landscape with its visionary approach to generative AI.