AI startup Anthropic raises $100M from Korean telco giant SK Telecom
South Korean telecommunications company SK Telecom announced that it has invested $100 million in the buzz-generating AI start-up Anthropic. As part of the deal, the two companies will jointly develop a large-scale language model (LLM) optimized for telecommunications providers. The LLM will be a specific variation of Anthropic's extensive "Claude" model, supporting Korean, English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish under the supervision of Anthropic's co-founder and chief scientist, Jared Kaplan.
The completed AI model is expected to be shared by the Global Telco AI Alliance, an industry group established last month by Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, Singtel, and SK Telecom. Furthermore, this AI model will be utilized in industry-specific customer services, marketing, sales, and interactive consumer applications.
Anthropic, a California-based company founded by former OpenAI executives, has already raised over $1.5 billion. SK Telecom Ventures, the investment arm of SK Telecom, had previously invested in the company.
Other investors include Google, which initially invested $300 million in the project in return for what was thought to be an exclusive cloud contract. However, it appears that in recent months, Anthropic has become a client of Amazon Web Services.
Regarding the investment, Dario Amodei, co-founder, and CEO of Anthropic, stated: "SKT has a wonderful ambition to transform the telecommunications industry using AI. We are excited to combine AI expertise with SKT's industry knowledge to build a customized LLM for telecom providers. We see that industry-specific LLMs have a high potential to deploy AI technologies more safely and reliably."
SKT CEO Ryu Young-sang added, "By combining our Korean-language-based LLM and Anthropic's strong AI capabilities, we expect to create synergies and achieve leadership in the AI ecosystem along with our global telecom business partners."