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NVIDIA-backed Databricks raises $500M for AI expansion

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Enterprise software company Databricks has announced the completion of a $500 million funding round as it targets significant activity in the generative artificial intelligence (AI) field.

The Series I funding round gives Databricks a valuation of $43 billion with a price per share of $73.50. According to an official disclosure, the $500 million funding round was spearheaded by T. Rowe Price Associates and accounts under Morgan Stanley’s Counterpoint Global.

Other participants in the round include Capital One Ventures, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Ghisallo Capital Management, and NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA).

Databricks CEO Ali Ghodsi noted that the latest raise reflects the company’s “momentum” and successes with its AI offerings. The company has since forged a strategic partnership with AI chip manufacturer Nvidia to see both entities collaborate to promote innovation in the AI ecosystem.

“Databricks and NVIDIA are building transformative AI technology, and we’re excited about the business value and innovation we can bring to our customers,” said Ghodsi.

The cloud data company has been dabbling in AI with its pioneering Lakehouse project, onboarding several enterprise clients. Databricks describes Lakehouse as a platform housing an organization’s data and analytics in a single platform that allows them to roll out their generative AI solutions and generate insights from enterprise data.

Not resting on its laurels, the company has set its sights on generative AI, leveraging enterprise data as the fulcrum of its foray. Databricks says its generative AI offerings will offer customers greater privacy and allow firms to “tailor” models to their specifications.

“Enterprise data is a goldmine for generative AI,” noted NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang. “Databricks is doing incredible work with NVIDIA technology to accelerate data processing and generative AI models.”

Databricks is currently surfing the wave of a prolific Q2 that saw the company establish a strong presence in the AI ecosystem. The firm ended the quarter with revenues exceeding $1.5 billion and 10,000 enterprise partners, with 300 of the lot contributing over $1 million in annual revenue.

In Q2, Databricks announced the acquisition of machine learning platform MosaicML while launching 20 data processing and AI products at the recently concluded Data and AI Summit.

Basking in the wins

The surge of generative AI in recent months has led to a growth in fortunes for NVIDIA as developers seek chips to train their models. According to a report, NVIDIA’s valuation surged beyond $1 trillion for the first time, with countries joining the race for the latest AI chips, surpassing the demand for digital currency mining.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom are among the long list of nations said to have placed orders for NVIDIA’s AI chips.

However, U.S. authorities have banned NVIDIA from selling to China and some unnamed Middle Eastern countries over fears of national security and “gross human rights violations.” NVIDIA noted that while the ban does not dent its finances, an extensive duration could adversely affect its earnings in the coming years.

In order for artificial intelligence (AI) to work right within the law and thrive in the face of growing challenges, it needs to integrate an enterprise blockchain system that ensures data input quality and ownership—allowing it to keep data safe while also guaranteeing the immutability of data. Check out CoinGeek’s coverage on this emerging tech to learn more why Enterprise blockchain will be the backbone of AI.

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