Open-source AI model creator Nomic raises $17 million led by Coatue

(Reuters) – AI startup Nomic has raised $17 million in a new funding round from investors led by Coatue, the companies told Reuters.

The investment valued New York-based Nomic AI, a team of four at the time, at $100 million, showing continued interest from VCs to bet on small teams building popular AI products. Contrary Capital and Betaworks Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2022, Nomic has released two products to date, including an open-source AI model, GPT4ALL, which is free to download and could run on devices such as a laptop. It also has a tool called Atlas that allows users to visualize unstructured datasets used to build large language models (LLM).

Nomic said its goal is to boost the visibility of datasets in model training, and democratize access to AI models.

“We want to allow people to have access to the most powerful models that are specialized for the use cases they care about, and to build those systems themselves. They need to be able to understand what data goes into those systems,” said Andriy Mulyar, co-founder at Nomic AI, who plans to use the funding for hiring and product development.

Nomic said its products have been used by over 50,000 developers from companies including Hugging Face. It also has partnerships with MongoDB (MDB.O) and Replit.

Open-source models are seen as alternatives to proprietary models developed by AI labs such as OpenAI and Google (GOOGL.O), as researchers around the world collaborate to develop models that could rival GPT-4.

“It gives you the platform for privacy with a local model, which will become more important as people have unique data that they want to interact with LLM,” said Sri Viswanath, partner at Coatue.

Coatue has made a series of investments in open-source AI startups, including Stability AI, Hugging Face and Replit.

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