Hugging Face Raises $235 mn in VC Funding Round Boosting Open-Source AI Platform

Hugging Face, the open-source AI platform, has raised $235 million in a series D VC funding round, supported by tech giants such as IBM, Salesforce, Google, and Nvidia.
Dollar spending on technologyThe fund raising marks a significant milestone for Hugging Face and underscores the escalating prominence of AI technology in various sectors.

Hugging Face, a prominent AI startup, has now been valued at $4.5 billion following this funding round. The participation of industry giants like Google, Salesforce, and Nvidia highlights the growing interest in AI technology and its enormous potential. The race for AI dominance among technology leaders has further elevated Nvidia’s profile, as its chip designs are extensively employed in generative AI models like ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI.

The funding round has also drawn support from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Qualcomm, Amazon, and Sound Ventures — an investment firm backed by Ashton Kutcher. With these additional resources, Hugging Face intends to intensify recruitment efforts and make substantial technological investments. The company, currently comprising 170 employees, anticipates a considerable revenue surge this year, demonstrating the surging demand for its open-source platform tailored for machine learning applications.

The collaboration between IBM and Hugging Face focuses on enhancing watsonx, IBM’s generative AI platform. Enterprises will benefit from the synergy between the two companies, as they work together to construct, deploy, and personalize foundational models across diverse domains. Through watsonx, AI developers can leverage models from both IBM and the Hugging Face community, pre-trained to facilitate various Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks like question answering, content generation, text classification, and summarization.

IBM’s contributions to Hugging Face include over 200 open models and datasets. A notable achievement is the joint development with NASA of the Geospatial Foundation Model, which stands as the largest geospatial foundation model on the Hugging Face platform. Additionally, IBM’s strategic plan involves hosting Meta’s Llama 2-chat 70 billion parameter model within watsonx, reinforcing the company’s commitment to a blend of in-house and third-party AI models, fostering open innovation.