San Francisco-based AI startup Imbue has raised an additional $12 million in fresh capital from Amazon's Alexa Fund and Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and Executive Chairman of Alphabet. This new investment extends the company's Series B funding round announced last month to over $210 million total.
Imbue's Series B was led by nonprofit research institute Astera and initially raised $200 million, valuing the company at over $1 billion. With the additional capital from Alexa Fund and Schmidt, will further Imbue's mission of developing more capable and trustworthy AI systems.
According to the company, the fresh funding will support long-term research and development focused on training AI agents that can reason and solve complex, real-world problems. This aligns with the startup's goal of reinventing personal computing interfaces by making AI systems more responsive and useful for end users.
Imbue's focus on robust reasoning abilities has attracted support from major players in the AI space. "The Alexa Fund has been exploring new approaches to cutting-edge AI systems for some time now and Imbue stood out with its focus on building smarter agents that can reason their way through problems like humans," said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, in a statement.
Imbue's other backers include Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, AI researcher Tom Brown, and Notion co-founder Simon Last. Last shared his perspective on supporting Imbue, stating, "The potential to make computers more interactive and personal has always fascinated me. Imbue's pursuit of creating AI systems that can reason promises a future where technology becomes more intuitive, opening doors to innovative interfaces."
With commercial applications of its technology still possibly years away, it remains to be seen whether Imbue's internal demos have provided enough promise to warrant such strong financial backing and a billion-dollar valuation. While the startup now boasts an impressive roster of high-profile backers, Imbue's ability to deliver on its ambitious vision in the years ahead will be an interesting development to monitor in the evolving AI landscape.