UPDATED 20:03 EDT / MARCH 13 2024


Together AI closes on another bumper funding round and its value soars to $1.25B

Artificial intelligence startup Together Computer Inc., better known as Together AI, said today it has closed on a $106 million funding round that doubles its valuation since its prior raise last fall.

Today’s round was led by Salesforce Ventures and saw participation from others including Coatue Management, Lux Capital and Emergence Capital, bringing the company’s value to $1.25 billion. It comes less than six months after Together AI closed on a $102.5 million Series A funding round led by Kleiner Perkins and Nvidia Corp.

The involvement of Nvidia is key to Together AI’s success. The startup was founded in 2022, and one of the things it does is offers cloud-based access to Nvidia’s graphics processing units, which are highly sought-after for their ability to power advanced generative AI models such as ChatGPT.

Together AI was founded by its Chief Executive Officer Vipul Ved Prakash in June 2022 alongside fellow co-founders Ce Zhang, Percy Liang and Chris Re. It began life with a simple, open-source and cloud-based infrastructure platform for AI workloads, but has since grown to offer its own AI development tools, models and services to help organizations embed AI into their business applications. Using its cloud platform, customers can train, fine-tune and finally run AI models in production, and the startup claims its prices are much lower than the most popular cloud infrastructure providers, such as Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC and Microsoft Corp.

Prakash has previously said that the company achieves significant cost reductions for large language models by optimizing every aspect of its infrastructure stack. Not only has it accumulated thousands of Nvidia GPUs, but it also provides virtualization software, scheduling and model optimizations that can bring down the costs of AI workloads.

Together AI’s infrastructure spans a web of data centers across the U.S. and Europe, and the startup says it provides more than 20 exaflops of compute power in total. Its GPU clusters vary in size, ranging from 16 modules to as many as 2,048 at the upper end.

According to Prakash, customers can use the startup’s infrastructure and development tools to quickly integrate popular open-source LLMs such as Meta Platforms Inc.’s Llama 2 into their business applications. Customers can also bring their own models and use its platform to train and fine-tune them. In addition, the startup offers consulting services helping enterprises to design and build customized LLMs for very specific workloads, eliminating the need for them to have significant AI expertise.

Together AI is also influential in the area of open-source AI research. It’s the creator of a project called RedPajama, which aims to develop open-source, chat-based generative AI models to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT. It has also created a customized version of Llama 2.

Salesforce Ventures Managing Director Rob Keith told Reuters that many enterprises are initially attracted to Together AI because of its GPU infrastructure. However, while many of them first come for the GPUs, many will “stay for the workflow services and research,” he said.

Prakash told Reuters that the funding from today’s round will allow the company to lease more computing power from cloud infrastructure providers and hire additional researchers to help it design more powerful open-source AI models. He also provided an update on Together AI’s progress, saying the company now has more than 45,000 registered users.

“We are really becoming one of the default places if you want to use open models or customized models,” the CEO said.

Photo: Together AI

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Your vote of support is important to us and it helps us keep the content FREE.

One click below supports our mission to provide free, deep, and relevant content.  

Join our community on YouTube

Join the community that includes more than 15,000 #CubeAlumni experts, including Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, and many more luminaries and experts.

“TheCUBE is an important partner to the industry. You guys really are a part of our events and we really appreciate you coming and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy