AI startup raises .3B, employees poached by its biggest investor, Microsoft

AI startup raises $1.3B, employees poached by its biggest investor, Microsoft

The AI startup Inflection closed a $1.3 billion funding round in 2023, but just a year later its main investor Microsoft has taken on some of its key employees.

In a blog post published by Microsoft yesterday (Mar. 19) the CEO Satya Nadella shares a message to its employees:

“I want to share an exciting and important organizational update today. We are in Year 2 of the AI platform shift and must ensure we have the capability and capacity to boldly innovate…

“In that context, I’m very excited to announce that Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan are joining Microsoft to form a new organization called Microsoft AI, focused on advancing Copilot and our other consumer AI products and research.”

Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan were the co-founders of Inflection. They will now head up Microsoft’s newly formed AI division.

As for the rest of the company, “several members of the Inflection team have chosen to join Mustafa and Karén at Microsoft.”

California-based Inflection is centered around creating a conversational AI that you could talk to. Last May, it released Pi – a personal AI, designed to be empathetic, helpful, and safe.

The $1.3 billion funding round was led by Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Nvidia.

Inflection publishes an update

Taking to their website, a blog post titled ‘The new Inflection: An important change to how we’ll work’ was published on the same day of the Microsoft release.

They announce the news of the co-founders leaving and say “We’re grateful for all their amazing work in getting Inflection to this stage, and wish them luck for this new chapter.”

A new CEO has been welcomed, called Sean White, and the third co-founder Reid Hoffman is described as continuing on the board and “excited to take these next steps in building personal intelligence for everyone.”

Looking forward, the AI team has said they plan to “lean into our AI studio business, where custom generative AI models are crafted, tested, and fine-tuned for commercial customers.”

Inflection 2.5 will now be hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Featured Image: Photo by Matthew Manuel on Unsplash

The post “AI startup raises $1.3B, employees poached by its biggest investor, Microsoft” by Sophie Atkinson was published on 03/20/2024 by