Amazon invests another $2.75B in Anthropic — reportedly ‘largest’ in company history

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We previously reported on the news of e-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon’s plan to invest $4 billion in OpenAI rival Anthropic.

Today, Amazon announced it has finalized that investment at the full planned amount, putting in another $2.75 billion atop the $1.25 billion it originally committed last year. According to CNBC, it is Amazon’s “largest venture investment yet.”

“We have a notable history with Anthropic, together helping organizations of all sizes around the world to deploy advanced generative artificial intelligence applications across their organizations,” said Dr. Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Data and AI at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s lucrative cloud division and world’s largest provider of cloud services by revenue and customer base, in a prepared statement published on Amazon’s company blog.

Sivasubramanian continued:

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“Anthropic’s visionary work with generative AI, most recently the introduction of its state-of-the art Claude 3 family of models, combined with Amazon’s best-in-class infrastructure like AWS Tranium and managed services like Amazon Bedrock further unlocks exciting opportunities for customers to quickly, securely, and responsibly innovate with generative AI. Generative AI is poised to be the most transformational technology of our time, and we believe our strategic collaboration with Anthropic will further improve our customers’ experiences, and look forward to what’s next.”

Anthropic Claude 3 takes the LLM crown
Anthropic has been on a tear lately, releasing its powerful, new Claude 3 family of large language models (LLMs) that have recently taken the crown from rival OpenAI (where the Anthropic brother-and-sister founding duo Dario and Daniela Amodei and their five other co-founders previously worked — that’s gotta sting!) as most powerful in the world.

There are three different versions each of Claude 3, costing more and offering more capabilities than the other, though the cheapest and smallest/least powerful, Haiku, has earned praise from users for underpricing and outperforming the competition — namely, OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 Turbo model, and even OpenAI’s larger and more powerful GPT-4, on some metrics.

…and the cash
Following the release of Claude 3 in early March 2024, Amazon quickly added some of the versions of Claude 3 to its Bedrock service on AWS, which allows AWS cloud customers to select between various LLMs that are proprietary like Anthropic’s and Cohere’s, as well as open source ones from Mistral and Meta’s Llama, to build their own third-party apps atop of for customers or employees.

In that light, Amazon throwing more investment money at Anthropic makes a lot of sense: the company is offering powerful tools that eclipse competitors, and Amazon gets to offer them exclusively to its cloud customers. It is the latest front in the ongoing cloud services competition between AWS and Microsoft Azure. And with Microsoft a major investor of OpenAI, it makes total sense Amazon wants their own powerful AI startup in their proverbial pocket.

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{Author}Carl Franzen{/Author}
{Keywords}AI,Business,AI, ML and Deep Learning,Amazon,Amazon Bedrock,Anthropic,Bedrock,category-/Business & Industrial,Claude 3,Conversational AI,NLP,VentureBeat{/Keywords}

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