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Google Boosts AI Startup with $300M After Prior Funding by Sam Bankman-Fried

Google Cloud has apparently invested $300 million into Anthropic, a startup focused on artificial intelligence.

The investment follows a prior funding round where the firm received over $500 million from former FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, about half a year before the collapse of FTX.

The information about the $300 million investment was reported by the Financial Times on February 4th and Anthropic confirmed the partnership with Google Cloud on the same day, although the amount was not revealed by the company.

Anthropic confirmed in their recent announcement that they had previously raised funds in a Series B round with the help of investors like former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison.

The round was led by Bankman-Fried and also included contributions from Jim McClave, Nishad Singh, Jaan Tallinn, and the Center for Emerging Risk Research (CERR). According to Crunchbase, this fundraising effort took place in April 2022.

The New York Times reported that of the total $580 million raised, approximately $530 million came from Bankman-Fried and his former business associates.

However, there are speculations that the amount might be even greater. A creditor of FTX believes that Bankman-Fried’s investment in the AI firm could reach as much as $1.1 billion, but did not provide any further details on this estimate.

Members of the Crypto Twitter community are also speculating if Bankman-Fried’s investment will be used to settle the significant debt that FTX has accumulated due to recent controversies.

As a result of the partnership, Anthropic will now use Google Cloud’s GPU and TPU clusters to enhance, expand, and run its AI chatbox, known as “Claude“, which is similar to that of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

According to Financial Times, Google Cloud received approximately a 10% stake in Anthropic.

The sources of the bulk of the debt in the FTX bankruptcy case are yet to be determined. Bankman-Fried has personally pleaded not guilty to the eight charges of fraud and conspiracy brought against him on January 3rd.

He is currently under house arrest at his parent’s home in California and is set to face trial on October 2nd, 2023.

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