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A.I. startup that gets us ‘closer to general intelligence’ sees $582M valuation jump in 14 months with Andreessen backing

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Pinecone Systems Inc., a startup whose platform supports artificial intelligence software, has raised $100 million in a funding round that values the company at $750 million.

The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Iconiq and existing investors Menlo Ventures and Wing Venture Capital, according to a statement Thursday. The firm intends to use the capital for research and development, hiring drive and scaling up the business, Chief Executive Officer Edo Liberty said in an interview. 

The New York-based company was last valued at $168 million after raising $28 million in a Series A round led by Menlo Ventures in February 2022, according to data provider PitchBook.

Since then, interest in AI has skyrocketed as chatbots such as ChatGPT have attracted wider attention. The AI ecosystem has since lured significant investment, defying a broader downturn in startup funding.

Pinecone provides vector data storage for large language models, including chatbots. Vector databases form a core component of the infrastructure, acting as the long-term memory that underlies AI tools. 

Businesses can use Pinecone to build AI-powered applications that can converse intelligently about proprietary data. Its customers include Shopify Inc., HubSpot Inc., Zapier Inc. and Gong. The company added 1,400 paying clients in the first quarter of 2023, according to Liberty, who was previously head of research at Amazon Web Services. 

“Models need to be smart and vector databases contain the knowledge,” he said in an interview. “People pair deep learning networks with vector databases and you get a lot closer to general intelligence in the way that we are marching forward to do.”

Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said the broad applicability of the infrastructure will be key to new data analysis across industries. “We see this particular type of technology enabling AI as a property of every new application,” he said in an interview.

Wing Venture Capital led the company’s seed financing as an investment in the AI-led transformation of business that more effective data use could trigger. 

“This is really the next supercycle in B2B technology,” founding partner Peter Wagner said in an interview.

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