Anthropic seeking to raise $750 million in funding round led by Menlo Ventures

(Reuters) -Artificial intelligence (AI) startup Anthropic is in discussions to raise $750 million in a funding round led by Menlo Ventures, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The startup’s valuation before the funding round comes to $18.4 billion, the source added.

Anthropic, co-founded by siblings and former executives at Microsoft-backed rival OpenAI Dario and Daniela Amodei, has shown efforts to secure the resources and deep-pocketed backers needed to compete with OpenAI and be leaders in the technology sector.

The Information first reported about the funding round earlier on Wednesday.

Its Claude AI models have vied for prominence with OpenAI’s GPT series.

The company already has investments from Google and with the companies agreeing to invest up to $2 billion and $4 billion, respectively, in the last few months.

Rival OpenAI’s board of directors had approached Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei about replacing chief Sam Altman and potentially merging the two AI startups, Reuters had reported in November, citing people familiar with the matter.

(Reporting by Gokul Pisharody and Disha Mishra in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Juby Babu; Editing by Rashmi Aich)