Search engine giant Google is negotiating to invest millions of dollars in a new AI startup company named ‘Character.AI’.
The new startup aims to get the necessary investment to train different chatbot models based on user needs, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
According to a third source, the investment structure could be transformative, which would help deepen the company’s existing relationship with Google. The company uses Google’s various cloud services and ‘Tensor Processing Unit (TPU)’ to train its own AI models.
Reuters did not get a response from Google and Character AI on this matter.
Founded by ex-Googlers Noam Shajir and Daniel de Freitas, the AI startup company allows users to talk to virtual versions of stars like Billie Eilish or various anime characters.
Besides, you can create your own chatbot and AI assistant in it. The AI model is free to use. In addition, there is a $9.99 customer service, through which users get direct access to the chatbot, bypassing the virtual line.
Character.AI offers a selection of characters and voices for its chatbot, keeping in mind the 18- to 24-year-old users. According to Israel-based software company SimilarWeb, this facility accounts for 60 percent of website traffic.
In this process, the company has been able to create a positive position in the market due to having an AI assistant system with amazing personality than OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bird and other AI chatbots.
Earlier, Character.AI said the company’s website attracted 100 million monthly users in the first six months of its AI model launch.
According to a Reuters report, Character.AI is in talks with various joint investors to raise the company’s financing, which could help take the company’s market value to $500 million. In March, the company also received $150 million in funding from US investment company Andreessen Horwitz, valuing the company at $100 million.
Google has been investing in various AI startups for quite some time now. This includes a $2 billion deal with AI company Anthropic, which includes previous investments. Apart from this, Anthropic also uses the latest version of TPU in addition to Google cloud services in its own AI model.
This investment process is part of a recent trend, where various top cloud service providers tie up with AI companies to offer their own cloud services or hardware in order to stay competitive in creating AI models for users. Examples include Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI or Google and Amazon’s investment in Anthropic.
In an event held in San Francisco last week, Lina Khan, chairperson of the US regulatory agency FTC, said that the agency is investigating whether the financial investment of cloud service companies in various AI startups falls into anti-competitive behavior.