Aleph Alpha secures €23 Million Series A funding
Aleph Alpha secures €23 Million Series A to build Europe’s largest, sovereign AI language models
- Accelerates development of next generation, large AI models “Made in Europe”
- Safeguards AI sovereignty for European public & private sector
- Series A was led by Earlybird VC, Lakestar and UVC Partners
Heidelberg, Germany, 27 July, 2021, AI Research, Development, and Deployment startup Aleph Alpha raises €23 million in a Series A funding. The round was led by Earlybird VC, Lakestar and UVC Partners, as well as existing investors LEA Partners, 468 Capital and Cavalry Ventures. Together with the seed funding of €5.3 million in November 2020, the total investment grows to €28.3 million. With the newly gained support of Europe’s leading Deep Tech Investors and a record capital stock, Aleph Alpha can further accelerate independent development of cutting-edge AI systems and continue to grow its team of world-class AI researchers, engineers and delivery professionals.
European AI powerhouse
Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, Aleph Alpha was founded in 2019 by AI-serial entrepreneur Jonas Andrulis and his co-founder Samuel Weinbach. The team researches, develops and operationalizes large AI systems towards generalizable AI. Aleph Alpha will offer GPT-3-like text models, as well as vision and strategy AI models via an API. This will enable public and private sector partners to modernize existing as well as develop new, innovative business models in data-based value creation.
With a strong commitment to open-source communities (such as Eleuther.AI), and academic partnerships (such as TU Darmstadt), Aleph Alpha builds a transparent innovation ecosystem based on reproduceable research and open exchange. This community-driven and interdisciplinary approach assures that tectonic shifts in the global AI landscape are aligned with European values and ethical standards. Aleph Alpha and its partner network create a strong and sovereign European innovation powerhouse supporting fairer access to modern AI research – aimed at counteracting ongoing ‚de-democratization‘, monopolization, and loss of control or transparency.
Safeguarding European AI sovereignty
From model training to inference (application), Aleph Alpha safeguards personal and organizational sovereignty over data and gives control over normative value alignment back to the developer. The compute intensive training for these GPT-3-like AI models will be enabled through the buildup of a sovereign, EU-based compute infrastructure. This makes Aleph Alpha an indispensable success factor for the digitization of Europe’s private and public sectors.
“Aleph Alpha’s mission is to enable the accessibility, usability and integration of large, European multilanguage and multimodal AI models following the likes of GPT-3 and DALL-E, driving innovation for the explainability, alignment and integration”, says Jonas Andrulis, CEO and founder of Aleph Alpha. “The funds significantly accelerate the process of bringing the latest generation of AI technology into application and secure the digital sovereignty for public and private sector partners in Europe and beyond”.
New age of human-machine interaction
Aleph Alpha’s generalizable AI models significantly augment and improve human capabilities in dealing with any sort of data. The technology is able to understand and create complex texts based on minimal human input, acting as a virtual assistant in a new generation of human-machine interaction. The deep contextual understanding has been previously attributed to human experts. These new functionalities will transform human interaction with information by structuring knowledge, responding to complex tasks, or transforming, summarizing, and structuring highly specialized, bureaucratic, or legal language into easily understood everyday speech.
“We’re excited to partner with the exceptional team around Jonas and Samuel on their vision to develop one of the most transformative platform technologies of our time and bring Artificial General Intelligence into reality – made in Europe”, states Dr. Hendrik Brandis, Co-Founder and Partner at Earlybird. “They are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research and real-world applications, unlocking incredible potential across industries.” Earlybird Principal Dr. Andre Retterath adds: “Aleph Alpha’s ‘world models’ are a new breed of meta learners that ‘learn’ how to learn. Once trained, these deep learning models are able to truly disrupt every IT-based work flow ranging from document search over content writing to programming.”
Dr. Klaus Hommels from Lakestar comments: “The latest advances towards artificial general intelligence – non-domain specific autonomous systems delivering task performance beyond human capabilities – especially in the domain of large language models, provides us with glimpses of AI’s tremendous promise for the future. We believe Europe has to step up its game to secure access to technologies with such vast and profound transformational potential. We are impressed by the results Aleph Alpha has delivered to date. We believe Aleph Alpha has the right people and ambition to deliver generalising AI models that are as innovative as their US and Chinese counterparts.”
“Europe needs to take a bolder approach to shape how AI will affect our future. Aleph Alpha is uniquely positioned to not only become an AI power house but also to develop globally competitive AI models that are in line with European values.”, said Andreas Unseld, partner at UVC. “We believe that the large-scale generalizable models that Aleph Alpha develops will fundamentally transform the way we work.”, Oliver Schoppe of UVC added. “Besides merely automating repetitive tasks, Aleph Alpha’s models can become the natural interface to the world’s knowledge. For instance, the level at which these models understand questions, answer them, and point to the underlying sources is truly transformative.”
Comment LEA Partners, 468 Capital, Cavalry Ventures
“When we first met Jonas and the team it was immediately clear that we share a common vision towards Artificial General Intelligence. For LEA, 468 and Cavalry as first backers, it is great to see what stellar setting came together in the recent months, supporting the Aleph Alpha team in building European Sovereignty in AGI”, says Nils Seele, Principal at LEA Partners.
About Aleph Alpha
Aleph Alpha is a Heidelberg-based AI R&D company that researches, develops and operationalizes large-scale generalizable artificial intelligence models for text, vision, and strategy to ensure digital sovereignty for public and private sector partners.
About UVC Partners
Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (UVC Partners) is a Munich- and Berlin-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in European B2B startups in the areas of enterprise software, industrial technologies and mobility. The fund typically invests between € 0.5 - 5m initially and up to € 20m in total per company.Portfolio companies benefit from the extensive investment and exit experience of the management team as well as from the close cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading innovation and business creation center. With over 240 employees and more than 100 industry partners, UnternehmerTUM can draw from many years of experience in establishing young companies. This cooperation enables UVC Partners to offer startups unique access to talent, industry customers, and other financial partners.www.uvcpartners.com