SCB 10X, the investment arm of the SCBX group, recently announced its co-lead investment in AI21 Labs, a Tel Aviv-based pioneer in the generative AI space. The Series C funding round raised a total of $155 million, catapulting the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion.
The funding round was co-led by a syndicate of esteemed investors, including Walden Catalyst, Pitango, SCB 10X, b2venture, Samsung Next, and Prof. Amnon Shashua. Google and Nvidia also participated in the round. This fundraising signifies industry-wide confidence in AI21 Labs’ technological prowess.
A21 Labs’ flagship product, AI21 Studio, is a developer platform for creating custom text-based business apps using AI21 Labs’ proprietary AI model, Jurassic. Additionally, the startup sells subscriptions to Wordtune, a multilingual reading and writing AI assistant. The AI21 Labs platform offers APIs for specific generative AI use cases, such as summarization, paraphrasing, grammar, and spelling correction. The startup’s models support a growing number of languages, including Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch.
Yoav Shoham, Co-founder and Co-CEO of AI21 Labs, said“AI21’s AI systems generate reliable, trustworthy, and accurate results. It is a huge challenge for the industry to provide quality and quantity of training data. Continually training our models on additional data and ensuring the data used is reliable and trustworthy are some of the things we’ve done to make sure we’re using up-to-date data.”
Mukaya (Tai) Panich, CEO and CIO of SCB 10X, expressed excitement about the investment and underscored its significance. “The AI industry is undergoing rapid transformations. Companies like AI21 Labs are leading this change,” she said. “Our investment in this Series C funding round is not just a financial move; it’s a declaration of our commitment to advancing AI technology and a testament to our belief in AI21 Labs’ vision and capabilities.”
A recent funding tranche will allow AI21 Labs to accelerate its R&D efforts, as well as “develop the next level of AI,” able to “reason across many domains.” Additionally, AI21 Labs plans to expand its partnerships with companies “across the entire technology ecosystem” and hire 200 more employees, primarily in research and business development.