Google-backed Anthropic raises $100 million from South Korea’s SK Telecom

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s largest telco SK Telecom said it will invest $100 million in U.S. artificial intelligence firm Anthropic to strengthen its telecommunications-driven AI business.

Anthropic, a startup competing with OpenAI in building AI foundation models, is among the most well-funded AI firms, having raised $450 million from investors including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Spark Capital in May.

SK Telecom, which also made a smaller investment in May, said on Sunday that the two companies plan to jointly develop a global telecommunications-oriented multilingual large language model and build an AI platform.

SK Telecom declined to reveal the size of its May investment or the size of its stake in Anthropic.

Anthropic was founded by former OpenAI executives in 2021. Its Claude models are seen as major competitors to OpenAI’s GPT-4.

In July, SK Telecom agreed with Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singapore Telecommunications to form an alliance to jointly develop telecommunications-driven AI businesses.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee. Editing by Sam Holmes)