Hugging Face managed to raise 218 million euros ($235 million) in its latest investment round. Salesforce Ventures led the investment round, which managed to attract the attention of several major tech companies.
Hugging Face, a provider of a large repository of open and non-open source AI models and training data, has long been in the sights of large tech companies looking to invest heavily in AI.
In the recently conducted Series D investment round led by Salesforce Ventures, the AI model provider managed to raise $235 million. This brought the company’s total value to a whopping $4 billion.
Investors in this round included tech companies with big names such as Google, Amazon, Nvidia, AMD, Intel, IBM and Qualcomm.
Repository AI models and training data
Reason for the strong interest in Hugging Face is that the company offers many open- and non-open source AI models. This is attractive to developers because they do not have to develop models themselves. They can train a developed model on their own data to make refinements. That gives organizations more control over the technology because the training sets behind the model are known, whereas commercial providers typically do not reveal this information. On top of that, of course, cost is a factor.
Hundreds of thousands of models
More specifically, Hugging Face offers hundreds of thousands of AI models and datasets. For example, the LLaMa models from Meta, Stable Diffusion from Stability AI, Falcon, Vicuna, as well as its own open AI model BLOOM and the StarCoder models developed together with ServiceNow.
Users get access to the code and various resources they need to build their applications. This under a mix of licenses, including open source licenses.
Revenue is derived by the AI model and data provider itself from providing additional functionality to developers and enterprise customers. These include features and tools for training and running AI models at scale, in addition to compute power and security solutions.