Character.AI, a California-based start-up that creates online chatbots, has raised $150m in a recent funding round, giving the firm a $1bn valuation. The 16-month-old start-up is part of a small group of companies aiming to compete with OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT.

Character.AI, founded by ex-Google employees Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, offers a website where users can converse with a chatbot facsimile of almost anyone. Similar to OpenAI, Character.AI is developing large language models, or LLMs, which learn language skills by analysing vast amounts of data from across the internet.

 

The new funding round, led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is expected to be followed by additional investment from strategic partners.